Can a declining county improve its bottom line by charging its own state taxes?
That's the premise behind legislation being sponsored by local State Assemblyman John Ceretto. He's seeking to return state lands like Fort Niagara State Park which are currently receiving property-tax exemptions back on to Niagara County's tax rolls.
Ceretto argues that this legislation would provide extra revenue to the county while easing the local property-tax burden. According to his office, taxes paid off Niagara Falls State Park would total nearly $3 million per year, while Wilson-Tuscarora Park would add more than $52,000 to local coffers.
Ceretto also noted that there are examples in which state-owned land is subject to real-property taxation across the state.