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Tax breaks benefit few at the expense of many

Politicians and businessmen are either for the free market or they are not.

New York State has committed $225 million for developing a green energy site. The public is told that this is not a subsidy for private industry, because the state will own the edifice. This is a mere sleight of hand. The construction of a facility for a private company is a subsidy. Regardless of whether or not Soraa and Silevo are successes or failures, it is the principle of the matter that is at question. The state has become the one who determines the winner and loser in the marketplace and the taxpayer has become the one who funds the state’s chosen winner.

In another case, Uniland Development and Delaware North have received $8.42 million and $807,000, respectively, to build a new site at Delaware and Chippewa. For these companies to receive benefits at the taxpayer expense when there is an excess supply of office space within the city is simply another free-market violation.

Some say that subsidization is necessary to compete nationally, although this is one of the highest-taxed areas in the country. Why not reduce taxes instead of spending the taxpayers’ money on special interests? Why not end the New York Power Authority’s monopoly and give the region cheap energy? This would begin a true revival.

Politicians and unelected planners from both sides of the aisle tell us that what they are doing is good for us, while they line the pockets of developers, businesses and other interests that feed off the state. Moreover, once special interests receive benefits from the state, they can use their taxpayer-subsidized gains to lobby the state for more subsidization. Either way you cut it, the breaks go to the few at the expense of the many.

William L. Marcy IV, Ph.D.

Buffalo