NO MORE TAXPAYER MONEY FOR BUSINESSES
Enough is enough.
It’s time for businessmen to be businessmen, and stop being welfare recipients. Turn in the EBT card and get back to work.
If we’re going to be capitalists, let’s be capitalists, and let’s stop picking the taxpayers’ pocket.
America, meet Scott Conjugal.
He’s a developer. And by “developer” I mean his job is to help himself to your money. This guy is the straw that broke the camel’s back. He is the poster boy for the growing disgust Americans feel for business hucksters who show up at city hall with their hand out and their greed unchecked.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some Occupy punk in the park. I’m a conservative Republican who believes completely in capitalism and the free market. Corporations are one of our nation’s greatest strengths, and I’m proud of those people who have worked hard and smart and made themselves rich.
And I hate welfare cheats.
Whether they’ve got gold teeth or gold cufflinks.
And too many businessmen today have turned into welfare cheats.
Like Scott Conjugal and his latest scam.
In 2009 he bought the moribund Irondequoit Mall. He paid $6 million and immediately worked some sort of deal whereby instead of paying property taxes he got something called a PILOT.
That’s an abbreviation that stands for “screw the taxpayers.”
Welders and grandmothers pay taxes. Gas stations and groceries pay taxes. Businesses and homes all across the land pay their property taxes. But some of these special cats come in and think somehow they’re exempt.
And, sadly, they’re usually able to find some addled politicians willing to go along with them. There will be some “industrial development authority” and a press conference about how many jobs will be created and what a great day this is for everybody and the fat cat walks away paying a fraction of what he owes.
Enter Scott Conjugal.
He wants to take the gravy train to a whole new destination.
Since buying the Irondequoit Mall, he’s become most notable for missing deadlines and doing nothing. Though he claims to have spent $93 million on mall improvements, there has been absolutely no visible work anywhere.
And nobody believes he’s spent $93 million.
Though his plans have grown more grandiose. When he started, he said he was going to spend some $250 million to turn a crime-plagued mall into a resort and retail destination.
Three years later and it’s three times bigger. Having seemingly failed at $250 million, he now wants to try for $750 million.
Apparently he’s building a Death Star.
With a twist.
Scott Conjugal has approached state legislators with a proposal which would have state taxpayers give him a quarter of a billion dollars.
Specifically, Scott Conjugal wants to borrow $250 million, and he wants the state to accept responsibility for paying it back.
He wants the state to sign over all the sales tax it collects at his mall for the next 30 years – to make the payments on his debt.
And if all those taxes – 4 cents on every dollar taken in – don’t cover the principal and interest on the borrowed $250 million, he wants the state treasury to pick up the rest.
Say it with me: Whiskey tango foxtrot.
Emphasis on the “foxtrot.”
Some carpetbagger from Syracuse by way of Colorado wants a functionally bankrupt state to give him $250 million. He wants the most heavily taxed people in America to pay his share as well as their own. Scott Conjugal – from the world of private jets and hunting preserves – wants the tax money of people facing unemployment and foreclosure. As we’re laying off teachers and firemen, he’s demanding armored cars full of public money.
And if that’s not welfare, I don’t know what is.
If that’s not despicable, I don’t know what is.
Unfortunately, the Scott Conjugal brand of audacity and greed has come to typify the politically connected class of businessmen who line up for grants, credits, loans, PILOTS and abatements. They somehow believe “free enterprise” means free government money.
And like the welfare recipients who form an ever-larger proportion of our society, they are an economic and social cancer that sucks the life out of an ever-weaker productive class. The true workers in America are cannibalized from below by the nearly 50 percent of Americans who pay no income tax, and from above by the growing army of “businessmen” who believe that their enterprise should be underwritten by the public treasury. Both classes of welfare recipients – those from above and those from below – are burdens and wastrels. They are bad citizens and should be ashamed of themselves.
But they aren’t.
They feel “entitled.”
Like Scott Conjugal.
Which means it’s time to change the rules.
On the subject of Scott Conjugal and the Irondequoit Mall – the people are tired of him. No deal, no extensions, no more crap. Put a shovel in the ground today, or get the hell out. Failing an immediate good-faith demonstration of intent, the town of Irondequoit should condemn the property and be done with this jerk.
And all the others like him should likewise be sent packing. The elected officials of New York – from the governor to the county executive to the town supervisors and members of the state legislature – must respect the fact that the people do not support or want these government subsidies. The local development agency – COMIDA – has become a hiss and a byword among real people. The notion that economic development means parceling out big-money gifts to special friends has to end.
If you want to make New York more business friendly – and it’s the second-worst state for business in America – lower everyone’s taxes and lift the heavy burden of regulation. Help all businesses and all workers – not just those who buy tables at the county executive’s ball.
Scott Conjugal is the poster boy for the disgusting spread of entitlement into the business community.
Scott Conjugal is the straw that broke the camel’s back. He is the face of the corrupted money grubbers who peddle the snake oil of our day.
We’re going to say “no” to him.
And soon we’re going to say “no” to them all.
- by Bob Lonsberry © 2012