By our teeth

Niagara Falls has exhausted all options

Nico Santangelo

I’m usually on the other end of the paper. I prefer to write hard news, and leave my opinion out of it. With the latest Niagara Falls news to drop, however, I feel the need to put my two cents in.
Mayor Paul Dyster is proposing a 2.6 percent property tax hike for homeowners, and an almost unbelievable 14 percent hike to commercial property taxes. Businesses throughout the city have already voiced their outrage with the city, and I’ve personally heard murmurs of businesses packing up and leaving.

Unfortunately, we have no choice.

Taxes in Niagara Falls have always been high. Niagara Falls has historically had money issues, avoiding bankruptcy several times in 1976 alone thanks to sheer luck and heavy spending cuts.

The city was told by the state several years ago to cut the casino spending in their budget, since it would eventually dry up. Mayor Dyster pushed it occasionally, but the council killed it every single time.

Then the Senecas announced they were done giving the state casino revenue.

The Senecas offered to work with individual municipalities, but the state reigns supreme, and the issue is now going into arbitration.

With all this doom and gloom, let’s not forget one thing: we’re Niagara Falls.

We have millions of people traveling through our city each year to stare at a wonder of the world. Niagara Falls can’t fail. There are too many interests that would jump in if the Cataract City ever reached the brink.

The tax hikes that are so obscene in some people’s eyes are the only things keep the city from mass layoffs. This is the painful reality we live in. Niagara Falls has been turning itself around for years now, and now is not the time to abandon ship. Prices at local businesses are going to go up: it’s a certainty. It’s up to the citizens of Niagara Falls to support them regardless. We need to boost up our own city, and that starts with finding out all sides of the story.

It’s an election year this year, and three council seats are up for grabs. I strongly encourage the citizens of Niagara Falls to look into all the candidates, and vote for who they believe will help the city the most. I also encourage all of you to get involved in your community in any way you can. The more community volunteers that exist, the less money the city has to spend on.

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