GUEST APPEARANCE: District Director: Reports Show Impact of Seneca Meadows | Opinion

Five years ago, we commissioned a study from the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) to assess the economic impact of Seneca Meadows. Five years later, we asked them to start over. The two reports paint a very clear picture. Seneca Meadows is having an extremely positive impact. If we were to close, taxpayers would be faced with two extremely bad choices.

It is important for taxpayers, small businesses and our neighbors to have all the relevant information regarding Seneca Meadows, and the CGR report is about facts, not fear.

Seneca County depends on employment in the manufacturing and public sector. The manufacturing sector represents 18% of the total number of jobs and 28% of the county’s payroll. The government is responsible for 27% of total employment.

With a total of 70 direct jobs and a payroll of $ 4.8 million, our impact is clear. Our average annual salary in 2020 was $ 66,000, more than double the average salary in Seneca County.

One thing we are doing that is being overlooked is our role in reducing costs to local taxpayers by allowing residents of Seneca Falls and Waterloo to dispose of their solid waste at the facility for free. In 2020.

Let’s discuss the value of Seneca Meadows property tax. The total value of real estate owned by Seneca Meadows and its affiliate IESI in Junius, Waterloo and Seneca Falls was $ 16.1 million in 2020.

The annual property tax payable was approximately $ 500,000, and the primary beneficiary of Seneca Meadows property tax revenue is the Waterloo Central School District, with $ 254,000.

CGR experts write that the local government could be faced with two options if we were to shut down prematurely. Drastic reductions in services (like free waste disposal) could be in place first. Where these cuts would be made is a mystery. Vince’s Park or the recreation center? First responders? The town hall will not say it.

The other option to cover Seneca Meadows’ lost income could be a massive property tax increase, similar to the recent tax doubling in Seneca Falls.

For a median value home in the town of Seneca Falls, the annual tax paid could increase by 74%, from just over $ 1,000 to about $ 1,800. For the median home value in Waterloo, CGR estimates a 58% increase.

According to the CGR, the main source of income for municipalities is the property tax. To replace the tax impact of a loss of Seneca Meadows revenue without raising the taxes of existing owners, a new business would need to bring in a very large taxable value.

Put simply, replacing the $ 3.2 million in host community funds would require the addition of a property with an assessed value of $ 322 million! You should know that the total value of del Lago Resort & Casino is $ 101 million and Goulds Pumps is $ 5.5 million. It would be great to see private investments like this injected into our economy.

Is there an owner in either town who thinks this is a realistic plan to grow the local economy or keep people in the Finger Lakes? Taxpayers should ask elected leaders, “How will all of this income be replaced?” “

We are happy to share a copy of the CGR report. If you would like to read it in its entirety, please call or click senecameadows.com.

Kyle Black is the District Manager at Seneca Meadows, Inc.

Daniel E. Murphy