By Natalie Musumeci
Birds going No. 2 is this billionaire’s No. 1 problem.
Three-time New York gubernatorial candidate and former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano is so fed up with Canada geese turning the lawn of his upstate summer home into their own personal bathroom that he is refusing to pay $90,000 in local taxes.
“This past summer it was horrible — we’d drive in and find 100 to 200 geese parked on our lawn,” said Golisano, 76, who is married to former tennis star Monica Seles, 44.
“You can’t walk barefoot, can’t play Frisbee, can’t have your grandchildren run around . . . Here I am paying all this money in taxes, and I can’t use my property because of the geese droppings.”
The businessman says he has tried using fishing line, repellent and a wolf decoy to keep the birds from pooping on the lawn of his summer home on Canandaigua Lake in South Bristol, to no avail.
The tycoon said he plans on withholding the tax payment until officials in the Finger Lakes town get a handle on the pooping wild geese.
“It’s a resident’s problem to take care of, not the town’s,” Marshall told The Associated Press of the droppings.
He noted that no other lakeside residents have lodged complaints about the geese.
“It is a lake, after all,” Marshall said.
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation said New York does have an overpopulation of the birds, which have caused issues for homeowners as well as on parkland. But the agency said the avian invasion on private property is not its responsibility, either.
Golisano — founder and chairman of the Rochester-based payroll firm Paychex and founding member of the New York Independence Party, which advocates for reduced taxes — said he plans to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of other upstate homeowners who say they are being overtaxed.
“A lot of people are suffering significant injustice because of the assessment system,” said Golisano, whose main residence is in Naples, Fla.
Golisano’s net worth is at $3.4 billion, according to Forbes. He has said he made Florida his permanent residence to avoid New York’s high taxes.
He married Seles after the pair became engaged in 2014. Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins was said to have officiated their wedding.
Seles, a former teenage tennis phenom, was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1993 when she was viciously stabbed during a match by a deranged man obsessed with her rival, Steffi Graf.
Seles survived and went on to play more tennis, although never at the same level. She retired in 2008.
Credit: New York Post, https://nypost.com