On a warm and sunny Wednesday morning, Mayor Byron Brown and Permits and Inspection Commissioner Jim Comerford stood in front of the ongoing demolition of the Erie Freight House alongside Empire State Development Regional Director Sam Hoyt to make an announcement about a new program that the State is unveiling today.
“I’m proud to announce the New York Homeowner Demolition Tax Credit, a program that will revolutionize the already ongoing process of eliminating as much of the built environment in this city as possible,” Mayor Brown announced as a demo crew punched through another wall of the last remaining freight house on Buffalo’s waterways. “With our outstanding Urban Renewal legacy, and the efforts my administration has made through “Five in Five”, Buffalo was the ideal place to reveal this exciting new opportunity.”
The program, which offers homeowners a 20% tax credit for the cost of demolishing their residence, was hailed by Sam Hoyt as a “step in the right direction.” “For too long, the residents of this city have had to use their hard earned cash to demolish their homes.” Another wall of the Freight House, comprised of heavy timber, fell behind the assembly. “Now, homeowners can get the needed financial benefits that come with demolishing their old, burdensome houses, and be a part of the exciting future unfolding in Buffalo. In fact, I can think of at least ten homes near the Peace Bridge that can use this program right away,” He said, nodding in agreement with his own comment.
Jim Comerford took the stage, and just repeated, “Demolition, demolition, demolition!” increasing in volume and speed until, salivating profusely, he was seen running toward the freight house, grabbing a sledge hammer, and attacking any historic materials in sight.
Other developers noted that the program doesn’t go far enough. “Why isn’t there a commercial program?” Jim Sandoro said from the driver’s seat of his 1912 Pierce Arrow motorcar. “I can think of at least five buildings that would make excellent parking lots– this program could help Buffalo finally get enough parking downtown to meet the needs of the city. And the region. And the State.”The new program is not without detractors, however. Carl Paladino, when asked to comment, replied, “It’s insane. Why should someone get a tax credit to demolish their home, when responsible homeowners have been tearing down their own homes for years without the government paying them to do so?” He went on to imply that the law was racially motivated, and likely a ploy by the School Board minority.
Several no-good obstructionists were in attendance at the meeting, but thankfully, the ongoing destruction of one of Buffalo’s historic structures drowned out most of their nonsense comments regarding “walkability,” “sustainability,” and “cultural heritage.”
“It’s fitting, announcing this program as yet another worthless wreck comes down in our city,” Mayor Brown said, as more of the nearly 150-year old remnant of Buffalo’s industrial legacy came crashing to the ground. “It’s beautiful to think that soon residents will be able to experience the same joy of watching their historic homes be torn apart and sent to the landfill.”
As the members walked off the stage, each received a handshake from a gentleman in an Ontario Specialty Contracting, INC blazer, who handed a check to Sam Hoyt, which, as reporters gleaned, is intended for Governor Cuomo’s presidential campaign fund, and contained many zeros.