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#59729 - 08/23/11 03:17 AM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: Mark Heyman]
Lucander Offline

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 223
Loc: Stone Ridge, NY
SOMEBODY sounds like a broke-ass terrible rapper saying Tupac sucks. Jealous hater. And yes - I am the first person to use hiphop as a reference to anything on this site.

As a rhetorical question, per taxes: how much in payroll taxes does Ulster County's largest private employer, MMH, pay? Any what about federal and state taxes their employees cough up? And what about gas taxes employees pay driving up that hill? And the drinks and dancing they might choose to pay for on nights off in town?

C'mon. The weather outside is like Utah - save your bitching for winter. There...I'm don bitching.

#59730 - 08/23/11 03:33 AM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: retroscree]
Advocacy group Offline

Registered: 08/03/10
Posts: 653
Loc: New Paltz,Marbletown,Gardiner,...
Originally Posted By: retroscree
Originally Posted By: Advocacy group
I guess building a 300+ room hotel on the side of a mountain, a golf course, numerous other houses, 80 miles of roads and smiley tower is how some define conservation.

At the time all those were built, the conservation movement in the US was barely in its infancy and didn't gain genuine traction until Teddy Roosevelt. The overriding laissez-faire position at the time held that owners of private property should be allowed to do anything they wished for their property. Few had any concept of conservation or why it might be desirable. The hotel was built in 1869. Trying to equate the modern idea of conservation with what was considered conservation then is pointless and just serves to provide you with a fallacious argument.


1869 was just the start of it. Lets take a look at some of the Smiley legacy in the Shawangunk mountains.

1869 Mountain house purchased (40 guest total)

1879-1910 Mohonk mountain house expanded to 266 guest rooms.

1879 Cliff house hotel open at lake minnewaska

1881 Cliff house hotel expanded to accomodate 225 guests

1887 Wildmere hotel opens at lake Minnewaska

1907 Smiley bros gives easement to NYC ($25,000)for aqueduct allowing the blasting of a crag and the clear cutting, mining of and entire mountain.

1911 Wildmere hotel expanded to accomodate 350 guests

1921 Smiley memorial tower built (Skytop) along with three miles of paths.

1926 5 tennis courts, golf course, baseball diamond and hundreds of Gazebos built at Minnewaska

1998 New $2.8 million 9200 sq. ft. Visitor Center built.

2001 9375sq. ft. refrigerated ice rink opens at Mohonk

2005 30,000 sq. ft. spa opens at Mohonk

Of course this is only a partial list. Don't forget about the old visitor center, the many houses that surround the mountain house hotel, the trailer park, the various mining operations, 80 miles of roads, the land sold for development, the mountain house golf course, the electrical easements that scar the ridge etc... Hardly pristine, hardly conservation minded, hardly occurring only in 1869!

The MPNA is an advocacy group for adjacent neighbors of the Mohonk Preserve. In the event of a dispute with the Mohonk Preserve, we can offer assistance in obtaining experts in the following areas; Surveying, Lawyers, Title, expert witnesses, ancient document research, and Maps.

#59733 - 08/23/11 12:17 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: Lucander]
Doug Offline

Registered: 12/29/06
Posts: 165
Originally Posted By: Lucander
Ulster County's largest private employer, MMH

That part jumped out at me - do you have a source on that? From a quick search, it seems like Uniprise/United Health Care is the largest. This link for the chamber of commerce lists large employers and seems to put MMH in a second tier. Other non-authoritative results seemed to peg United Health Care as the largest private employer.

Perhaps it fluctuates with seasonal work?

#59735 - 08/23/11 01:36 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: Doug]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4269
Loc: Poughkeepsie
I was told by MMH HR office that they have a payroll of 1200.

#59754 - 08/23/11 06:24 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: Mike Rawdon]
SkurdeyCat Offline

Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 39
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Mike Rawdon
I was told by MMH HR office that they have a payroll of 1200.

Wow! That explains the room rates!

OK, back on topic, the voters in my township (Philly exurbs) recently voted to purchase some boring farmland in order to preserve open space. This not only lost the township tax revenue, but directly cost money! If this overwhelmingly right-wing locality sees the benefits of preservation worth the cost, surely the value in preserving the Gunks is obvious?

#60191 - 09/16/11 02:04 AM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: donald perry]
donald perry Offline

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1494
Loc: New Jersey
Hello, I do not know anything about these arguments, and the more I read the more questions I have. However having said that I would like to say something as one who has used the Preserve properties for years.

I like to rockclimb, and from the way I see it, if these properties were owned privately there would be no rockclimbing at all ever, period. It is hard enough to climb on state land, and private property owners here are for the most part very difficult to talk to. They have no concern for these things at all, they are unsympathetic in understanding them in anyway. You do not want to be on their property or bother them if you can help it. This may have something to do in part with the way the legal system is set up for accidents and property issues in New York.

That being said, I hope you can understand that as far as I am concerned the Mohonk Preserve is ordained by God so that people like myself can get out of the city and explore God's creation and understand Him better (I really believe this). This was the very reason for why the Preserve was created by the Smileys in the first place, rather than become a race track, and maybe the cliffs turned into a quarry. So for this reason I really have a hard time sympathizing with private property owners who want to argue with the Preserve under any circumstances. For the same reasons I am going to fight for this country, even with all its inconsistencies, is the same reason I would fight for the Preserve, inconsistencies or not. The Preserve and the Smileys have done humanity a great and enormous unrepayable service. And for this we should all be overflowingly and eternally grateful. Those who seek to hinder that work set forth by the Smileys should be eternally ashamed of themselves. If everyone had the same kind of charity and vision for making the world a better place as the Smileys have there would be no fighting. The Smileys have not only helped themselves, their families and their heirs but they have also never forgotten us in that process. I am more than happy to will my property to them, and if they want anything of mine I am more than happy to share it with them, whatever it is.

BTW I have posted this same letter in two threads. You can take it either way.
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here

#60198 - 09/16/11 02:40 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: donald perry]
TerrieM Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 419
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
"...a great and enormous unrepayable service."


#60205 - 09/16/11 09:13 PM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: TerrieM]
laurelinjune Offline

Registered: 07/19/11
Posts: 14
Loc: Ulster County
I'm not a climber but I am a hiker, nature lover, and longtime member of Mohonk Preserve. I heartily agree with DP and TerrieM. Both MP and the MMH complex are treasures. I'd prefer MMH not have a golf course, but as the whole, it is a huge asset to Ulster County.

I recently went to the Ulster County clerk's office to read for myself the two pending cases involving boundary disputes between MP and neighboring landowners. Very easy online access; just have to wade through the legalese. I wanted to satisfy myself that MP was using reasonable methods to protect their holdings. I can't predict whether MP will prevail, but in both cases MP has a strong basis for its claim to the land. It is not using malicious or unusual tactics or arguments. It is simply protecting land it fully believes it purchased and held in good faith, no more or less than what any landowner would do to protect their investment. Even if the courts rule against MP in one or both cases, I will not reduce my donation level. The simple fact of losing a lawsuit doesn't make a person or entity a bad guy and doesn't mean the the lawsuit was frivolous or malicious. It merely means the other side had a stronger case in the court's opinion.

MP is using the adverse possession argument only as a secondary argument to the chain-of-title argument. And the defendants are doing the same thing in their counter claim. It is very common practice in real estate disputes. Taken together the arguments are saying in effect, "I believe I own this land through rightful chain of title, and in addition I have been using and maintaining the land as my own for the past xx years."

#60206 - 09/17/11 01:09 AM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: laurelinjune]
retroscree Offline

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 397
You do realize that you, Terrie, and Donald just sent Chris Ullrich's blood pressure up at least 20 points.

#60227 - 09/18/11 02:45 AM Re: Taxes VS preservation...have at it! [Re: retroscree]
donald perry Offline

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 1494
Loc: New Jersey

Edited by donald perry (09/18/11 12:12 PM)
The Mohonk Mountain House and the Mohonk Preserve have done a great job protecting the environment thus far, but ... it's all down hill from here

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