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Business and Labor

Why WNY Property Taxes are so High

Yahoo_Headquarters(Niagara County) A common complaint heard from WNY residents is the high tax rates paid here locally. Residents are quick to blame so-called “unfunded” mandates, and they often claim that government workers are inefficient and overpaid. Overlooked is the role that corporate welfare plays in local government budget problems.

The Buffalo News reports that Yahoo expects to receive a host of “incentives” to construct a new data center and employ 115 people in Lockport, NY, which is located to the north of Buffalo in Niagara County.1 Among the give-aways are 18 years of reduced taxes – including 10 years of zero property taxes, publicly owned power provided at a subsidized rate, and an exemption for sales tax on construction materials.

As these types of establishments come to employ a greater share of the workforce, tax burdens for local government services will fall more on employees and their families. Expect future residential property and sales taxes to rise as large corporate employers pay less taxes.

1 “Yahoo to hire 115 for second data center, call center in Lockport” by Thomas Prohaska in the Buffalo News. <http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130322/BUSINESS/130329732/1005&gt;

Photo: “Headquarters of Yahoo! next to Mathilda Avenue in Sunnyvale” by Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia.

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