Unfortunately, Chautauqua County's questionable solution of land banks to fix deteriorating properties is moving forward.
This plan, which allows local governments to acquire foreclosed and abandoned properties in order to return them to their respective tax rolls, is one more layer of government we did not need. Land banking ultimately does not address the real issue that no local or state politician wants to take on in Chautauqua County: there is too much government leading to a tax burden that is one of the highest in the United States.
High taxes puts a noose on private investment, which leads to unemployment and poverty.
But back to the land banking. So far, five properties have been targeted by this layer of government. Two are in Jamestown, two in Dunkirk and one in the village of Fredonia.
"This is another exciting step in the process in dealing in a much more effective way to deal with foreclosed properties," County Executive Greg Edwards said. "They have identified properties that have fit the model. It's a self-funding business model."
Nothing connected to government is "self-funding." Sooner or later, the taxpayers will be stuck with some type of tab for this program, whether it be meals for those on the committee or mileage to attend the meeting.
Also, government intervention is not in the least bit "exciting" - and abandoned and foreclosed properties throughout the area are depressing. These properties are a product of high taxes and too much government.
Land banking is one more layer of an already oversized government. It is an option that ignores the reality of Western New York.
We need tax relief. Lower those high taxes, investment follows.
Watch Wisconsin, Indiana and Texas, all of which lowered taxes, if you need further evidence.