By Rebecca Martin
“There’s really been some misrepresentation,” said Katt. “These are well-paying jobs.” say President Donald Katt.
READ the article in the Kingston Times
If Katt has information on the jobs and salaries offered by Niagara that the public does not, then make it available to us. Only at which time can we place this information next to what Niagara stands to gain in tax abatements for the approximately 40 – 120 jobs that they promise to provide.
We believe that Katt, like Supervisor Jim Quigley, have signed confidentiality agreements with Niagara. When it comes to our tax dollars being used to finance large corporations such as Niagara Bottling it is our right to know. Particularly before any decision is made regarding Niagara and Start-UY NY and the IDA.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
1. Recently, the Niagara Bottling Company put in a Consolidated Funding Application for a reported 10.8 million dollars to help them to build their facility. The promise for the first five years is 40 jobs. Niagara would have essentially received $270,000 per job in this case.
2. 10 years of tax abatements are really tough to qualify, but lets try by giving an example.
To be safe, lets say that 100 jobs are created and pay $46,000.00 (a stretch indeed). Remember, that when a company such as Niagara is a part of the Start-Up NY program, they don’t pay any taxes (including employee) for 10 years.
Using a base salary of $46,000 of which 35% would be taxed (totaling $16,100). An estimated 15% of this amount (or $6,900) would go to NYS. Multipy $6,900 x 100 employees not required to pay NYS taxes. That is $690,000.00 per year or $6.9 million over 10 years and that’s just the beginning.
The worker’s salaries are still beholden to Federal Taxes as we understand it ($9,200 per year if calculated as 35% of their salary). Based on national figures on what is considered a living wage in America, that is barely above the threshold (with the amount not calculating health care benefit costs. Would the Niagara positions all offer health care packages?) is$36,800. It occurs to us, too – what happens to the workers quality of life after 10 years of not paying such a tax? Take away NYS taxes and you’re down to $29,900.00. We must reiterate, 100 jobs at $46,000 is a stretch. Based on what we have seen, the jobs typically offered to locals by Niagara pay $12 – $14 per hour, do not include benefits and are mainly assembly line positions.
All of which are just estimates to a thought process. But it is this kind of calculation for jobs, for the sale of water, pollution – the entire scope of the project – that needs to be done and shared with the public.
Given that such important decisions are being made prior to our SEQR process, it is unfair for our elected and appointed officials not to make the information widely available.