Ronald W. Nesbitt

Supervisor's Corner

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Nov 14

Tax Breaks for Restaurants and Other Businesses

Posted on November 14, 2014 at 10:18 AM by PattiAnn Schultz

In my spare time I like to read some of the social media sites to see what Webster residents have to say about our community.  This past week a lot has been mentioned about Wendy's, Dairy Queen and Starbucks receiving tax breaks from the Town of Webster to build and do business in Webster.  This is completely false statement because the Town of Webster did not offer any of these businesses any form of tax abatements to get them to come to town.  These businesses came to Webster because it is a great town to do business in.

In fact, there are two empty lots next to DQ that can be purchased by any mom-and-pop outlet that would like to do business in Webster.  The problem here is that no mom-and-pop operation has the capital to develop and build a brand new building.  That is why you will end up with some sort of chain operation there. It is not that we do not encourage mom-and-pop operations, it is that they do not have the capital to build a new building and banks are not loaning out that type of money to businesses that are not fool proof.

There are many on social media that think that the Town Board decides what businesses goes where on Ridge Road and around town.  Again, nothing can be farther from the truth.  The Ridge Road to Route 104 area is all zoned commercial, and if the site meets the lot requirements a business can go there without any input from the Town Board. If a property owner wants to sell his land to a commercial business and is in the commercial zone, this is permissible because this is America and you can sell your land for a profit.  If some resident does not like this, then they have the option to buy the land and leave it as open space, etc.  I am always amazed that other residents in town feel they can dictate to other property owners what they can and cannot do with their properly zoned land, which includes taking down trees.

I also read all the complaints about the town and what should be done so that Webster does not end up becoming or looking like Greece.  Yet the Town Board just went through six months of budget talks, held public hearings on the budget, mailed the budget to every household in Webster and not one of these complainers bother to show up at Town Hall and request any changes in the Town Budget for 2015.  Nor did anyone offer one suggestion on commercial development on the Ridge.  In fact there was not ONE comment on the budget or development at all. Yet residents will sit behind their computer and complain instead of showing up at a Town Board meeting with their concerns.  One just has to love the social media world we are living in.

So, once again I will repeat, the Town of Webster has not given any tax breaks or tax abatements to any of these business owners in the Town of Webster.  They all pay $4.53 per thousand (2014 tax rate) in assessment (the same as any homeowner in town).  The only difference is they pay a lot more because their assessment is a lot higher than the average house in Webster.

If you ever have any questions about town government and want the complete truth about any situation, please call my office and get the truth before you believe what you read on social media.  From what I read this past week, there are many topics that the Webster residents are very misinformed about and how the Town of Webster works.

As always, if you have any questions about your town government, please feel free to contact me during regular business hours at (585) 872-7068; or email me anytime at  

Ronald W. Nesbitt