Needing to be rewarded for denying patrons the right to wear
anti-war T-shirts and for building a shopping maul on Karner
Blue butterfly habitat, the Pyramid Company sought $600 million
in tax incentives from the State of New York.
Pyramid was seeking tax breaks and cash from the New York
state to expand Crossgates Maul’s cousin, Carousel Center in
Syracuse, into the biggest resort/retail complex in North America.
According to a June 10 article in the Times Union, “a
senior senator from Syracuse, Republican John DeFrancisco,
said the project, known as Destiny USA, is full of mystery
and he questioned whether the state should be committing more
than $575 million in tax credits plus $25 million in cash to
The Pyramid Cos.' proposed expansion of the Carousel Mall into
a resort, entertainment and retail destination. . . .
Pyramid is lobbying heavily for the project, spending at least
$50,000 a month on some major lobbyists, including $30,000
a month alone to Patricia Lynch, a former Assembly aide close
to Democrats; $15,000 a month to John O'Mara; and $5,000 a
month to the firm run by Kieran Mahoney and Tom Doherty, all
of whom are close to Pataki. . .
The company wants $52.5 million a year in tax credits for 10
years, then smaller sums for another four years, DeFrancisco
said, plus $25 million in cash for a state tourism center previously
authorized by the Legislature.
Pyramid could already take the tax credits because the project
is in an Empire Zone. But the state is considering absolutely
guaranteeing them no matter what happens with the tax break
program in the future. . .”
The proposed $2.2 billion, 3.2 million-square-foot expansion
to the 1.6 million-square-foot Carousel Mall could include
a hotel of up to 20,000 rooms and the project sponsors speculate
that 122,000 permanent jobs will be created.
Pyramid even hired former Republican Senator Alfonse D‘Amato.
Worried about being out-lobbied by Pyramid, Wilmorite Maul
of Rochester hired former state Republican party chairman,
Bill Powers to lobby for them. Tens of thousands of dollars
have been spent this year by both mauls, battling over tax
Fortunately, cooler heads in the legislature prevailed, and
the tax incentives did not pass. Pyramid spokes people said
that they will have to reconsider whether or not they can
go ahead and build this mega-retail-hotel-sprawl complex without
funds from the State.
Taxpayers would be much better off if the State would use
its funds to encourage small businesses and inner-city
revitalization, instead of giving away huge amounts of tax
credits to rich