Says Taxes Out of Control
By Josh Resnek
About a dozen taxpayers outraged at their drastically higher tax bills for their commercial properties did not get a chance to speak before the City Council’s session began Monday night.
Confusion about what exactly they should do, and the rush of City Councilor Rosa DeFlorio to close the open speaking period before anyone had the courage to speak, led to nothing being said by the public who came to city hall to speak on the matter.
Councilor Fred Capone, however, was not afraid to speak. He decried the rising taxes and wondered aloud to his colleagues in government about what has gone wrong
“We welcomed a casino and we have no money,” Capone told the Leader Herald following the meeting.
“Private homeowners and business owners expect lower taxes with the casino coming,” he told his colleagues.
“Taxes should be coming down with the casino here,” he added. “The mayor needs to be here to tell us exactly what is going on,” he told the Leader Herald.
DeFlorio dismissed the talk.
“We haven’t got the money yet,” she said. “Wait until the money starts coming in when the casino and the hotel opens,” she answered Capone.
More than $30 million came in from the casino as part of the Host Agreement in 2018.
That money was either spent or squandered, with part of it going to lower taxes, which was a futile effort given the results of nearly everyone’s new tax bills be difficult.”
“The mayor himself is needed here,” said Capone.
As for the mayor, he has not been seen at city hall in about three weeks and was absent most of December from his corner office.
“The quality of life is supposed to improve with the casino coming, not get worse,” said Capone.
“If there is no tangible benefit from the casino coming here, why did we want it?” he asked.
He said the quality of life was supposed to improve with the casino coming.
“Taxes are supposed to be coming down,” he added.
Councilor Wayne Matewsky echoed Capone. So too, did Councilor Michael McLaughlin.
“The mayor must be present,” he said.
“It is time for direct answers.”
The matter was sent to the Committee of the Whole for discussion and action.