The taxpayer-funded Blues Festival is expanding to three days this year.
This event is put together by a group of Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster's friends and supporters since 2008.
Dyster is so proud of the festival -- I am not making this up -- that he posed in sunglasses to advertise the event.
The city with the highest taxes in the country in proportion to the value of its real estate is spending $30,000 for a blues concert.
It always struck me as a crime that a government forcibly taxes the people, taking money mainly from the middle class, taking people's homes away from them when they fail to pay taxes -- then men like Dyster use the money to put on circuses or concerts.
Here are you, fool, you are paying taxes on your home, struggling to pay the highest property taxes, plus high local sales tax and high state income taxes.
What your life would be if you had less tax to pay? What you could do with your freedom, where you could go, who you could help, how you would live, if you didn't pay so much in taxes, if more of what you earned was yours to keep?
You could pay for you own concerts.
But Dyster takes your money, and instead of trying to reduce taxes a little, just out of some shame at the fact that he is the mayor presiding over the city with the highest property taxes in the country, being a little frugal, instead he throws a three-day blues party.
I am not against blues or even the people holding this jamboree. I merely think they should pay for it themselves.
Why is government in the concert business?
I do not approve of having one dime of my tax money ever go to paying for concerts.
If you want a concert, pay for it yourself.
Dyster cannot pave the roads; the streets are a disgrace. Go drive down any major street in this city. He has raised City Hall salaries of top aides all out of proportion to anything ever seen in this city -- many of them exceeding $100,000 per year with benefits.
He has raised taxes during his administration, he has squandered millions in casino money, gone without a trace, but he has money to blow on a three-day blues concert.
Maybe this will put it in perspective: $30,000 is what you might pay in 10 years in property taxes for an average house in Niagara Falls. A house worth, say, $70,000.
Do you want to pay your property taxes on your home for the next 10 years to fund Dyster's blues concert this year?
You pay for 10 years -- $3,000 a year. Dyster takes the money and has a blues concert. If you won't do it, then why would you expect your neighbor to do it?
This is the problem with socialist taxation. What we would not do ourselves, we are happy to ask our neighbors to do. We get the benefit (a blues concert) our neighbors pay the taxes (i.e., for 10 years).
Unfortunately it does not work that way. But the socialist never sees it. He is always clamoring for government to do more. Never realizing he in the end, like his neighbors, will pay for it.
To give you a hint as to why Dyster might be happy to tax you and your neighbors to pay for a blues concert, consider that the blues event this year will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9-11, right before Primary Day on Sept. 13.
Dyster will be on stage and will take credit for getting the money to make it all possible.
As such it will be a three-day PR event for the mayor as he heads into Primary Day.
Given his dismal ratings, it would have been more appropriate by far to have the concert after the primary, since he is very likely to lose to the popular John Accardo.
If the concert were held after the primary, then Dyster could sing the blues with real conviction.
Speaking of taxes, of all the stupid things said by stupid people in all the stupid places in the world, Dyster's home, his mouth and his computer may top it all.
After a story in the Niagara Gazette revealed that property values in Niagara Falls are about the lowest in the United States -- alongside the unmentioned-in-the-article fact that our taxes are the highest in proportion to the value of our real estate -- Dyster heralded it as a victory.
From his Facebook:
"Paul Dyster ... total cost of real estate equals acquisition costs plus taxes. So if cost to buy property is low, that offsets high taxes. That's why real estate market is strong here, in spite of recession."
What's wrong with this idiotic statement?
Low-priced real estate, plus high taxes, does not make a market strong.
It is certainly not a boon to the people living in such a place.
Low prices are not an excuse for high taxes. But vice versa -- high taxes are a cause of low prices, since people flee areas where taxes are high.
High taxes depress real estate prices, and people who own property and see no appreciation, or people who might invest but can't get a good return because taxes are high, would not likely agree with Dyster's absurd premise.
Niagara Falls homeowners pay about 3 percent of the value of their real estate in property taxes annually -- a major disincentive to investment and wealth building. The national average is less than half of what it is in Niagara Falls.
The thing that government might control -- taxes -- are high. The thing the private sector might control -- real estate values -- are low. How does Dyster take that as a win?
Most people on his Facebook are sycophants, writing such things as "Thank you Paul for working so hard and so tirelessly for your city!"
Occasionally some ask intelligent questions.
Like Darren Sneed Sr., who wrote, "What can we do about all the boarded up houses? Are those the affordable ones the(Gazette) article talks about?"
One Facebook friend made a truly intelligent comment.
He is Tom Deal, the rising star of the local real estate market, who in two short years has made a giant name for himself in Niagara County and for his company Deal Real Estate.
He said, "Having the most affordable housing isn't a good thing. It means there is no demand and high taxes, limited job opportunity, drugs, crime, etc. are some of the many causes of the reduced demand."
That's a fact, and indeed low real estate prices and high taxes are nothing to herald in your Facebook as success. It does not make a market strong.
Such astounding stupidity is not normally found even in politics.
The voters of this city have elected, it seems, a self-serving nincompoop.
But fortunately they will have a chance if they so desire to correct that this November.