By KEITH B. RAGER
In a recent article regarding state Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed "tax-free" zones for new businesses that locate on or near SUNY campuses, our local elected officials had the following entirely predictable comments.
County Executive Greg Edwards noted, "I don't see it as being something that is going to have this sort of dramatic impact that merely lowering taxes overall would." Good point, Mr. Edwards; when is the last time you implemented a budget in Chautauqua County that did what you are advocating?
County Executive Edwards also noted, "My fear is that this will be beneficial to a very small number of people in the jobs being created, but the rest of the tax-paying entities and people would have to pay more to make up for the difference." What difference, Mr. Edwards? How does adding zero to zero equate to a loss?
Assemblyman Andrew Goodell's comments included the statement, "If we are serious about improving our economic climate in New York state and creating more jobs, we need to aggressively reduce taxes." Excellent insight, Mr. Goodell. Please let us know of any legislation that you have sponsored and brought into law that has done that.
And, as always, Sen. Catharine Young is looking out for all of us in Chautauqua County when she stated, "I believe that we also need broad-based tax relief and regulatory reform to make our state more competitive." You are correct, Senator, so why have you not been responsible for making any of those things happen?
I don't know if Gov. Cuomo's plan is a good one or not. Frankly, until it is implemented and objectively assessed, neither does anyone else. But, what I do know is that it is one more plan to create jobs and lower taxes than any of our local officials have devised and been able to actually implement.
Keith B. Rager is a Fredonia resident.