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Tax abatements would stimulate Schoharie growth

Sunday, February 16, 2014
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Tax abatements would stimulate Schoharie growth

Several months ago the Schoharie Town Board adopted four local laws pertaining to tax abatements. The first deals with first-time home buyers or new construction. The second pertains to home improvements for one- or two-family dwellings. The third provides assistance with respect to living quarters for parents or grandparents 62 or older, and the fourth speaks to conversion of nonresidential property to residential and commercial use.

These tax abatements would encourage not only rehabilitation of homes affected by flooding, but any home in need of improvement. Also taken into consideration was our desire to help our younger generation afford the American Dream — a newly constructed home for first-time buyers with a five-year tax abatement. We did not forget parents and grandparents in need of living with family — giving an eight-year tax abatement on additions to existing homes for this purpose.

These tax abatements represent opportunity as well as incentive to not only rebuild but to attract new families and businesses.

Recently, the Schoharie Village Board adopted these very tax abatements, and the towns of Blenheim, Middleburgh and Esperance are also considering their adoption. I and the members of the Schoharie Town Board have asked the school board to participate in this program.

Some individuals have said these abatements will cause increased taxation on those who currently own homes and vacant land. That is a total misconception. These abatements stand on their own, with no additional cost to anyone. They hopefully will act as a catalyst to encourage new construction and upgrading, adding additional tax dollars to our tax base.

There will be a public hearing on these tax abatements at 2 p.m. on Feb. 21, in the Board of Supervisors Room of the County Office Building. I hope all residents come and voice their opinions on this issue and ask questions.

Every empty home, every vacant piece of land where a home was taken down and is now for sale, every vacant storefront has caused an increased tax burden to others. Give these abatements a chance to work.

Gene Milone

Schoharie

The writer is town supervisor.

Letter writer drinks Democrats’ Kool-Aid

The direction the Democrats have taken this country is reflected in the Feb. 11 letter by Terry Amrhein.

Sadly, for him, it’s a good thing over 2 million people will be removed from the workforce due to Obamacare. This is how Democrats will lower unemployment (not with jobs). The DNC [Democratic National Committee] came up with these talking points and Terry dutifully parrots them. It says a lot about the people voting today.

The Democrats have always bought their votes with handouts; now it’s the promise that you no longer need to work. Democrats can sit on the front porch swilling beer while Republicans go to work to pay for it. Terry has decided others will be the “indentured servants,” serving him and those like him who simply do not want to earn their way.

The Congressional Budget Office report clearly states the disincentive to work, and Democrats will take full advantage of it, gleefully at the expense of those who have the work-reward ethic.

Dave Dankanich

Rexford

Earlier retirement age would free up jobs

Cyber-era wonders also have society flaws. Mainly, productivity increases cannot produce enough jobs for the population. All modern economic systems are experiencing high unemployment and don’t see any relief in sight.

In our own country, we see half of college graduates unemployed or only finding “McJobs.” That means more education than needed. So if your kid cannot handle calculus, they are surplus.

The only solution is to reduce the Social Security age to 50 years old. Getting politicians to admit this will require courage and foresight. But the candidate who does will be the next president.

John Donohue

Cobleskill

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