Friday, 29 July 2011 00:00
With the vote for the proposed Coliseum project looming, I have felt compelled to speak out on this issue.
I will vote NO. I came to decide to vote NO for a number of reasons:
1) We’ve been told that the cost to the taxpayers of Nassau County will be $400 million, but NIFA has said the cost could be almost $800 million.
Are we paying $14 a year more in property taxes or $55 a year? What’s the truth?
2) What’s the benefit to most County residents for their higher property taxes?
3) The project will create a number of short-term construction jobs. All such projects do. Will it really create more long-term jobs than already exist in the area? If yes, how many?
4) The Aug. 1 vote date was set to specifically favor a “yes” vote. No notices have been mailed to the residents. Do you know where to cast your vote? Were you aware of how to obtain and use an absentee ballot? I don’t believe the vote to be a valid sample of “the will of the people” unless 50 percent or more of the county’s taxpayers cast their vote on this issue.
5) If the deal is so good, why didn’t Mr. Wang find private investors for his project?
6) There is not enough information to make an informed decision.
7) The County Comptroller has said that Mr. Wang’s corporation, which would hold the lease for the Coliseum, has neither the financial resources nor credit history to guarantee any payments.
8) Different respected economic development organizations can’t agree on the benefits of this project.
9) All the email notices I’ve received from the County Executive have been pro-project. I find it improper for him to take sides.
The county has big fiscal issues to resolve. Adding $400 million to the taxpayer’s tax burden for a single unproven project shouldn’t be the way to go.
If you can find out where you can cast your vote, I urge you to vote NO on this issue until such time that all the information is available to make an informed choice.
Thomas Sobczak, Jr.