Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter
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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Okay, now Buffalo is going to get a Bass Pro shop. Our city fathers have been trying to get this deal done for three years, and they are almost there. 400 jobs, they say, but I'm still not clear on the cost. The press release states that the federal, state and local governments are committing about $66 million: $31 million in federal funding, to be used for an intermodal transportation station and 1,000-space parking ramp, along with a Great Lakes-themed museum to be connected to the store; and about $14 million from Erie County and the City of Buffalo Presumably this latter is in the form of property tax relief, rather than fresh money, at a time when the county is looking to bump the local sales tax, and may well be looking to increase property taxes down the road. If I were the owner of a local hotel-- or restaurant, for that matter, I'd be pretty put out about the big bait shop being subsidized by my taxes-- even if it's true that Bass Pro is a Mecca for out of state sportsmen, what good would that do me if they are eating and staying at Chez Bass Pro?

I'd love to see someone run the numbers on this deal, which seems like it stinks like a three day old mackerel.

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