Our casino-cheerleading Mayor Gary McCarthy tried to convince Schenectady residents that a casino will help the local economy and small businesses and lower property taxes. It’s becoming clear that the mayor was untruthful about the benefits of the casino, and he was trivializing and ignoring its negative impacts.
The mayor lied to property owners about their increasing property taxes and signed a worthless resolution pledging an 18 percent property tax reduction from the casino money. This year, however, he offered a measly 1 percent that was annulled by the increase in water/sewer charges.
For people who demanded that the mayor sign a host community agreement with the developer, he bluntly refused and declared that Schenectady will be receiving $14 million annually of casino money, and that our zero-dollar deal is better than what other towns have signed with their casino developers.
In addition to the money other towns are getting from the state, they are also receiving millions each year in direct payments from their casinos to pay for the impacts on their towns. Schenectady is only receiving what the state is releasing to it from the casino dollars that it collects.
As for property owners who can no longer afford their property taxes, McCarthy will continue doing what he has done best since becoming mayor — repossess their properties, let them rot for a few years and then sell them for a fraction of what they’re actually worth, or demolish them if they don’t sell and take them permanently off the tax roll.