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What is assessed value of all IDA properties?

The News IDA editorial of May 26 included a discussion of need for improvement of internal project information, which in turn would lead to better board decisions. I would carry the information stream further.

With school budgets recently a matter of controversy, it would seem that residents of each district should be made aware of how much IDA property has been removed from tax rolls. For instance, the Town of Clarence IDA has been active in recent years; how much is the district being shortchanged by privileged IDA properties there? Overall, what is the assessed value of all IDA properties in the county?

Beyond financial matters, there needs to be discussion of where IDAs fit in our system of government. As citizens, we are supposed to be able to control revenue raising through our elected representatives. That right is derived from the Constitution. A part of our right to oversee matters of taxation was lost with the creation of IDA statutes. We now have politically appointed boards dictating tax policies beyond any accountability to elected legislatures or to the people.

We have descended to a form of authoritarian government while no one of any consciousness of constitutionality has been paying attention.

Donald G. Hobel

North Tonawanda