Buffalo developer wants to get rid of city sales tax

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Buffalo developer is pushing to get rid of sales tax in downtown Buffalo. Rocco Termini said Western New York will truly be revitalized when its metropolis is thriving,

Termini said, “We need to prime the pump and the way to get retail downtown is by creating a tax free zone in the central business district.”

He said selling cigarettes and gas without tax on Indian reservations is a good example of how it could work here. Termini thinks people will travel far to buy products cheaper. He said this idea could boost tourism in the Queen City.

Termini sid, “You’ll have Canadians coming here, they’ll go to our restaurants, they may stay overnight. They’ll go to the theatre, they’ll make a day of it.” But not everyone”s happy about it. Termini said neighbors in the suburbs would worry this would take away from their business outside the city limits.

Termini said, “We have to stop thinking about “I” and start thinking about “we.” And we as region and we have to make sure Buffalo, which is the core of the county, is successful.”

Termini is on the board of The Buffalo Place, a non-profit organization that advocates for downtown Buffalo. They are in the process of writing a proposal for this program. It needs the legislature and the Governor’s approval. termini said the Governor is focused on Buffalo’s success and is hopeful he will support this.  He said he wants to take this model across the region.

Termini said, “All the cities on the thruway, we have the same problem as Buffalo has. No one has a downtown. It would go then to Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, if it works in Buffalo, it will also work in those cities.”

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