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Stephanie Miner

Stephanie Miner

Refusing to be intimidated by Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy’s threat of a control board, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner wrote an op-ed in the New York Times asking the state to help cities. She cited a needy population, population loss, high pension costs and a dwindling tax base. She said “gimmicks” like borrowing for pensions costs are not sustainable. Notable lines:

The stress on cities like Syracuse, where I am mayor, results from profound economic changes but also past decisions by an array of leaders…

Billions of dollars’ worth of corporate tax breaks have been given away in the name of “economic development.” The state has offered, and the cities have accepted, fiscal gimmicks like borrowing money or using one-time revenue to pay for operating expenses…

…the model of using property taxes to finance schools, police, fire, sanitation and other services is no longer sustainable.

Cities are magnets for immigrants and the poor who need and demand costly social services…

The state is benefiting from a resilient income-tax base, while cities are stuck with an eroded property-tax base.

Mayor Miner is standing up for cities. It’s long overdue.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

McCurdy's window display for Valentine's Day ca. 1940

McCurdy’s window display for Valentine’s Day ca. 1940


Sibley's window display for Valentine's 1941

Sibley’s window display for Valentine’s Day 1941

Links of the Day:

Tom Richards is hard to define as mayor.

– A Georgia man was charged with trafficking dozens of guns into Rochester. There’s no “gun trafficking” charge!

– The area between Syracuse and Erie, Pennsylvania has the fourth-highest density of hockey players in the country.

– The IRS doesn’t have much sympathy for victims of an Erie County tax preparer.

– See how much money people make in every neighborhood in every city in America.


8 Responses to Go Mayor Miner!

  1. NICE!
    Now watch how quickly The Machine does whatever it can to crush her and any political future she may have. That NY Post article about Herr Cuomo freaking out should have been front page news. After hearing an hour’s worth of Dr. Bob Smith on WXXI (earlier this week) stammering and sputtering claiming he and the majority of the media in NY do hold Cuomo accountable it is refreshing to see anyone call him out. Too bad for the people of Cuse. They will now suffer as our childish, tyrannical ‘leaders’ punish them for Miner daring to use her freedom of speech to criticize genuine corruption instead of playing along.

  2. She hit the nail right on the head!!! This was a great article and a fantastic read that should get way more play especially here in Upstate. As she points out several times the old system of property taxes does not work and that NYC is the exception. As I have pointed out here on responses young people are moving out at alarming rates because they cannot get actually career sustaining jobs. What this article says to me is something that I think we should have done a long time ago and that is split the state into 2 governing halves. What works in NYC does NOT work here in Upstate so we can have 1 governor but we should have 2 governments. One for NYC and Long Island and 1 for Upstate. The tax codes and ideas that work for one, clearly do not work for the other and our one size fits all system of state government has been destroying our state’s economy and population for years. Good for Mayor Miner! She is right, right and even more right and good for her for taking it to the New York Times!!!

  3. I believe under the state constitution NYC is granted far, far more powers than the rest of the state. The ‘cities over 1 million in population’ line is how they do it.
    Example: The city pension is a separate part with separate rules such as cops/firemen upstate have different retirement rules than those in NYPD and FDNY and separate areas within the pension itself. Then there is CUNY vs SUNY, that there are 5 counties within NYC, the City tax that is only seen elsewhere in Yonkers and on and on.
    NY minus the tax receipts from Wall Street equal a bankrupt (literally) state. Contrary to what every coffee table lawyer says, study after study shows upstate gets more back from NYC tax dollar-wise than we send down there.

  4. If were getting more dollars then why is it not going anywhere? It gets to Albany in which it is then shipped right back down. Were not producing jobs, were not lowering tax rates on poorer areas up here, were not keeping young people here. We as a state have to recognize that geographically, demographically and economically we are very unique compared to the other states in this country. It can’t be one area of the state dictating how the rest of the state is going to run which with the majority of house and senate seats being down state is exactly what has happened. I am of the opinion that both areas of the state would be fine and even thrive if they were not dependent and handcuffed to one another.

  5. February 14, 2013 at 1:15 pm justaguy responds:

    Tim, I wasn’t saying you are wrong, I think most NY politicians are scumbags who care more about their respective Party (The Machine) than the oath they took to all of us. NY, California, any state isn’t splitting up anytime this century and since we can’t even get our crooks in Albany to put Initiative/Referendum on the ballot let alone call for a Constitutional Convention to rethink our outdated way of governing the idea of splitting is moot. I believe in truth in gov’t and part of that is correcting urban legends like “we send more to NYC than we get”. Were it reversed abd NYC residents propagated tgat myth I would wabt them corrected too. Upstate is dying because The Machine has rigged the game to keep the incumbants from both parties (neither of which has any constitutional authority going back to 1789) in power forever.

  6. February 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm theodore e kumlander responds:

    I love the old pictures you post. it is like looking into a window into the past.

  7. My thoughts….the article states “Cities are magnets for immigrants and the poor who need and demand costly social services…that is the issue in a nutshell. The solution is simple…do NOT make it attractive for the immigrants and poor. Believe me, if you made it less attractive, the poor and immigrants would go elsewhere. The benefits in New York for those who do not want to work is the best in the US. Is the mayor of Syracuse ready to make decisions that will reduce the dependency? It seems the mayor of Syracuse is saying the business of providing for the immigrants and poor is good for the government of her city, but she wants the State to pay for it. Again, an elected official is unable to provide solutions but continues to put the blame elsewhere.

  8. I know no other place in Monroe County would accept more poor or immigrant residents. So many NIMBYs on the East side they protested a group home for PSTD vets. Support the troops is fine, until they have to do something. Pittsford NIMBYs are protesting a high end rental development because of the troubles “renters” bring. I’m sure a low cost housing development would go over great on the East side of Monroe County.

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