CAROLYNN IOANNONI/Special to Bullet News
The city is working on this year’s annual budget, and once again we are trying to do more. No, that’s not even right. We are trying to maintain the service we provide with minimal tax increases. That’s not going to be easy. Especially now.
This past month council learned that the Casino won their appeal for the 2013 assessment. For this year their assessment was reduced by 50 per cent.
What does that mean to you and the city? Well it means that the city will receive almost $3 million less this year from the Casino in taxes and while the city is appealing this decision, it is financially devastating to the operations of the city and our budget. But that will take time, could be many years. But it will also take money and we have none to spare.
The decision for the 2013 assessment year is ridiculous and quite frankly I think it makes the argument as to why there should not be casinos in Hamilton and Toronto. Like a new car, they clearly lose value quickly, so why would you build more? Both those cities should be paying close attention to this assessment decision. Clearly the goose that laid the golden egg is now dead.
Carolynn Ioannoni is a Niagara Falls city councillor.