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Chronicle-express. (Penn Yan, N.Y.) 1926-current, October 31, 1990, Image 1

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Established in 1824 l^th Year - No. 44 31 |^ (tthrnnirl 12/31/99 0 J FOREhAN CO BOX A8 HONMOUTH IL 61462 Wednesday, October 31,1990 YATES COUNTY’S OWN NEWSPAPER r Penn Yan, N.Y. 35 Cents OTB proposition goes to v o te Nov. 6 ‘B a h y’f ^d iery l A n d rew s an d h e r daughter, S h a n n a , got a special tric k o r t r e a t w h e n “Baby their 252-pound pum p k in em e rged from th e garden. I t grew form “p r ize w inner hybrid” s e e d by B u rpee. I n N o vem b er, th e A n d rew s w ill find o u t i f t h e irg r a t gord w a s great enough tow in th e g r a n d p r ize of $10,000 in a co n test sponsored by th e seed maker. (Photo by R u ss H e a rton) Two towns to d ecide fa te o f a lcohol sales Propositions on ballot By RUSS HEARTON Voters in the towns of Benton and Potter will determine the fu­ ture of alcohol sales in those towns, Tuesday, Nov, 6. Apparently when the federal government gave townships the option to repeal prohibition in 1933, the libwn of Benton retained anti-alcohol position. ^•w.-^Vopositions to legalize its sale I were defeated by public referen- I dum in 1935 and again in 1938. I Tbwn of Benton Clerk Becky I Jensen notes, “We (the Ibwn Board) just thought it had been plenty of time since the last vote, we would try again.\ Jensen stresses that the Ibwn Board has no bias regarding the propositions. ' She asserts, “We don’t support it either way, but we do support it being on the ballot and encourage people to voice their opinions.\ It has been a long time since it last came to a vote but time may not be the only factor in getting this question to a vote this year. According to Jensen there are business people expressing a need •^for change as well. ' Among them are Larry and Adele Wldrick, owners of Fox Run Vineyards W nery on Route 14 in Benton, who began building their business unaware that Benton was a “dry\ town. Fox Run opened Aug. 31 and has been in operation apd selling wine since that time. Adele Wildrick explains, “We’ve ■jbeen functioning under a state law; the law (town law) is almost moot. They have an d>ligation at this point, to get it off the books.\ Wldrick continued to explain that it is her assumption that a state license to sell alcohol super­ cedes the Benton ordinance. Wildrick asserts, “We’re happy it’s on the ballot and hope that Benton votes in favor of Benton becoming a ‘wet’ township.\ However, whatever the outcome, Fox Run plans on continuing to operate. The Town o f P o tter will decide whether alooiiol will be legally sold there as well. Both the Potter and Benton propositions were drafted by Robert Foster, the attorney for both towns. sumed on premises where sold in the Ibwn of Benton? The need for a proposition was brought to the attention of the Potter Tbwn Board by James Englert and Jim Santee of the Potter Fire Department. The Fire Department is repor­ tedly interested in getting the propositions passed in order to sell alcoholic beverages at fund­ raising events such as “Monte Carlo Nights\ according to Tbwn of Potter Clerk (Cynthia Daines. By BOB GO.FILLAN PENN YAN — Voters will decide the future of off-track bet­ ting (OTB) in Yates County as a special proposition will be on the ballot for the Nov. 6 general elec­ tion. The yea or no proposition (no. 250-90) asks if, “Resolution for Yates County to become a member of the Western Regional Off TVack . Betting Corporation” which would make Yates County a member of the Western Re^onal Off Track Betting Corporation, be approved? 'The resolution to have the county join the Western Regional Off Track Betting Corporation was initially approved by the Yates County Legislature by a 12- 2 margin a t its July 11 meeting. A petition campaign spearheaded by the “Keep Yates FVee From OTB” Committee gar­ nered 947 certified signatures (out of 1,046 submitted) to have the resolution placed on the ballot. Speaking in opposition to the proposition, the Rev. John Tharp of Penn Yan stated, “My main concern is the character of our community. “I feel,” he remarked, “that to encourage something which 1 con­ sider to be a n^ative activity; which is to risk one’s income, as low as that may be, on the chance of making a lot more, is very risky. “And,” he went on to add, “I feel there is a big moral problem in the government promoting this kind of negative activity in order to benefit itself.” Tharp also characterized the Legislature’s support of the measure as a “desperate act” in face of sharp increases in spend­ ing mandated by the state. “If we are successful (in defeat­ ing this proposition),” he remarked, “it evolves upon us to really put our shoulder to the wheel to find some economically favorable (alternatives) for Yates County; (alternatives) which are healthy.” In support of the proposition, Legislator Jack Clancy stated, “'The Legislature has been look­ ing, particularly the finance com­ mittee, for any available alter­ natives to real estate tax. “Off-track betting is one of several avenues that we have in­ vestigated,” he continued. “Two others that come to mind are a room tax for visitors who stay overnight in Yates County in hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts. “And,” Clancy went on to say, “(the third one) is an expansion of the Yates County jail to get revenue by boarding prisoners from other counties. “All three,” he acknowledged, “of those would be substitutes for part of the real estate tax. “We’re faced,” Clancy em­ phasized, “with huge increases in the real estate tax to provide mandated social services and other programs; and we are simply investigating all pos­ sibilities to reduce that impact; real estate being the least fair of all taxes.” Yates budget shows 19.7 hike By BOB GILFILLAN PENN YAN — The Yates Coun­ ty Legislature took a long, hard look at a proposed 22.6 percent tax levy increase before slicing away at various programs to reduce the increase to 19.7 per­ cent as it approved a tentative 1991 budget a t a special meeting held IViesday, Oct. 23. Spending for the proposed $19 million budget is up some $2 mil­ lion, an increase 10.5 percent; while the property tax levy shoots up nearly $1 million to just under $6 million. Legislators pointed to four mandated programs: education for handicapped students, tuition for community college students, Medicaid, and cleaning up the Tbrrey landfill, as causing nearly 16 percent of the tax hike. At the special meeting, legis­ lators took aim at programs rang­ ing from landfills to youth ac­ tivities to the sheriff’s depart­ ment, as they cut another $150,000 from the proposed budget to lower the tax levy by 3 percent. Among the cuts approved by the Legislature were: one of the seven road patrol deputies from the sheriff’s department ($22,250); laborer in the highway depart­ ment ($13,342); computers and computer consultant ($9,000); summer puppet theater ($4,300); new handguns for the sheriff’s department ($5,000); weed spray­ ing ($2,500); and the reduction of of a $5,000 contribution for a proposed baseball park in Mid­ dlesex to $2,000. The major cut in the budget 'The meeting followed three day- came when legislators agreed to long workshops held earlier in the reduce spending on clean-up work month in which legislators had at the landfill by half from agreed on spending cuts totalling $200,000 down to $100,000. $80,000. Continued on page 2 Growers discuss federal taxes ost The proposition will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot in the form of three questions for Benton and two questions for Potter. )or« a<k ari- oifl' 1) Shall any person be authorized to sell alcoholic beverages to be consumed on premises in the Town of Potter (Benton) licensed pursuant to sec­ tion sixty-four (e.g. restaurant or club) of the Alcoholic Beverages Control Law? 2) Shall any person be authorized to sell alcoholic beverages to be consumed on premises in the 'Town of Potter (Benton) licensed pursuant to the provisions of section sixty-four-a (e.g. bar) of the Alcoholic Beverages Control Law? 3) Shall any person be authorized to sell alcoholic beverages at retail not to be con- lar- •an- ‘>5 1 0^ to State, regional county, town elections on tap Voters will go to the polls on Tiiesday, Nov. 6 to elect several state officials, as well as regional, county and town officials. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Among the statewide positions up for election are: governor and lieutenant governor, comptroller and attorney general. Regional positions on which Yates County residents will vote, include Supreme Court justice for the Seventh Judicial District (three positions open); representative in Congress for the 34th Congressional District; state senator in the 52nd Senate District; and member of Assembly in the 127th Assembly District. Also on the ballot are: one state proposal, the 21st Century En­ vironmental Bond Act, and a county proposition on OfT-TVack Bet­ ting. Seeking the position of attorney general are incumbent, Robert Abrams of New York, a Democrat and Liberal, and his opponents. Republican Bernard Smith of Northport, also running on the Con­ servative Party line; Robert Nolan, Right to Life candidate; James Harris, Jr. of Brooklyn, running on the Socialist Workers Party line; Frederick Newman of New York City, the New Alliance Party candidate; and Margaret Fries of Conklin, the Libertarian Party candidate. Incumbent Comptroller Edward Regan of New York, a Republican and Conservative Party candidate, will be opposed by Democrat and Liberal candidate Carol Bellamy of Brooklyn; Right to Life candidate Donna Marie Kearney of Rochester; S ^ a list Workers Party candidate Aaron Ruby of Brooklyn; New Alliance Party candidate Emilie Gay of New York; and Libertarian Party canidate Wcki Kirkland of New York. Incumbent State Sen. John (Randy) Kuhl, Jr. of Ham- mondsport, running on the Republican and Conservative Party lines, is opposed for his 52nd District position, by Right to Life candidate Jane Atkachonis of Waterloo. Assemblyman Donald Davidsen of Canisteo, a Republican and Conservative Party candidate, will run unopposed for his 127th District seat. Stones elsewhere in this issue detail candidates and the state and local propositions. A sample ballot can be found on page lA. By RUSS HEARTON DUNDEE — Several Finger Lakes area grape growers and processors attended a public hear­ ing Tuesday, Oct. 23 at Glenora Vfine Cellars chaired by New York State Assemblyman Donald Davidsen and Assemblyman George Winner. According to Davidsen, the pur­ pose of the hearing was “primarily to listen to the people who are in­ volved in the wine and grape in­ dustry voice their opinions regard­ ing the proposed federal occupa­ tional tax, the proposed federal excise tax and to discuss New York’s grape pricing procedures.” James Trezise, president of the New York State Wine and Grape Foundation, representing 95 per­ cent of the state’s wine producers and a majority of grape growers, was first to speak a t the hearing. TVezise stated that the proposed federal taxes are “unenlightened, revenue oriented policies” that jeopardize the progress of col- lalwrative efforts between public and private sectors, made in recent years, that have created what he calls, “enlightened, market-wise public policy.” 'IVezise further stated that any occupational tax would be “ine­ quitable” and would prove “devas­ tating to the industry.\ According to a Congressional Budget Office report, he estimates that if an occupational tax were implemented, it would mean a “25 percent reduction in the wine and grape industry nationwide.\ He also informed the As­ semblymen that “in an informal telephone survey of growers and processors, two thirds to three quarters <rf small wineries in New York’s $300 million industry, would go out of business the day it goes into effect.” The proposed excise tax of 75 cents per tettle (increased from 3 cents per bottle), is unacceptable to TVezise. He elaborated. T h a t type of in­ crease is inequitable and would have a mjgor devastating impact to the industry. The result would be declining sales that would weaken the entire industry.” TVezise estimates that a 76 cent per bottle tax would translate into more than $1.50 per bottle by the time it reaches the consumer. Davidsen concurred with 'Trezise and called his estimate “conservative.” Gene Pierce, president of Glenora Wine Cellars and host of the hearing, also agreed with 'Trezise. He insisted, “Grapes are an agricultural product, recognized as such throughout history. Com, oats and rice are not taxed in this manner. I see no reason for it. I think, in these times, the industry is wilUng to pay its fair share across the board, b ut an 800 per­ cent increase is not equitable.” Pierce believes that as an agricultural product grapes and wine should be exempt from all taxes and that any increase would have a severe impact on the local industry especially. He asserted, “There are 11 small wineries in Yates County alone. If they each had to pay a $19,000 (occupational) tax tomor­ row, I think 7 or 8 of them would close their doors.” An exhorbitant excise tax could portent doom for growers as well. He explained, “Most of the local growers sell their crops to the lai^e companies that produce large container products. If those companies lose sales because their products cost a couple dollars more per bottle, then the growers will be hard hit.” According to Davidsen, the proposed federal taxes are the result of the federal government having a “misguided perce^ition of what the wine industry really is made of. They had the perception that there are only a few large wineries producing wine so that it would be okay to tax them.” However, it was noted that New York alone currently has in excess of 90 producing wineries, includ­ ing 12 on Long Island. International trade may create even more difficulty should an in­ creased excise tax be implemen­ ted. According to Davidsen, “We’ve heard testimony from growers on Long Island that foreign countries, who subsidize their wine industries, would absorb the excise tax costs and disadvantage domestic growers even more.” This would mean that, unlike domestic wines, imported wines would not increase in price, making it even more difficult for domestic wines to compete with imports. Pierce commented, “U.S. wine producers would be hit with a double whammy! On one hand we’re not subsidized and on the other our taxes increase.” The current grape pricing pro­ cedures, established June 10, 1974, are also an increasing con­ cern for growers and processors. Under the existing law, every year on Aug. 15, grape processors are obligated to post the price they will pay for each variety of grape. Once posted, that price is then fixed until the next year. It was initially designed to provide growers with market security but as time passes, more and more growers and processors believe it is inhibiting free trade. Both 'I9ezise and Pierce agree that the cunrent law is “infiexible.” Pierce insisted, “It’s the in­ flexibility of the law that causes OUR GOAL ^ 51 . 250 °° 100 % 80% 60% 20 % 10% United W^y of Northern Yates County Jim Trezise, left, p r e s id e n t of th e New York S tate Wine and G rape F o u n d a tion, tells A ssem blym en D o n a ld D avidsen and G eoi^e W inner th a t *^an o c c u p a tional tax would be unw ise an d w o u ld devastate th e ^ 0 0 m illion w ine and grape industry in New York” a t a public h e a r in g ab o u t w ine a n d grape taxes hosted by G lenora Wine Cellars. (Photo by R u s s H e a rton) The United Way of Northern Yates County campaign has reached 12.15 p ercent of its $51,250 goal. Contributions may be made to; P.O. Box 432, Penn Yan, NY, 14527. — -. problems more than the maxi­ mum or minimum. It doesn’t al­ low for free trade and is not sensi­ tive to market and crop con­ ditions.\ Davidsen echoed sympathetic sentiments saying, “The spirit of the law is to protect growers.” He questioned Pierce and suggested that if current procedures are in­ adequate perhaps futures markets would be more appropiate for grapes. Continued on page 3 m 3 ■ V ^•1 f'.’

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