Syracuse area restaurants will meet with lawmakers about Destiny USA tax breaks

Since 1982, Joey's Italian restaurant off Carrier Circle has served up homemade pasta and ravioli but owner Joey DeCuffa says that ever since the massive Destiny USA expansion opened, his numbers are down. DeCuffa doesn't mind the competition but says all the tax breaks Destiny received don't make for a level playing field.

"We're putting all our eggs eggs in one basket and it all funnels to Destiny mall -- and still Destiny is lining their pockets with all these incentives," says DeCuffa

DeCuffa wanted to know more about the impact the Destiny expansion had on other local restaurants.

"I just started talking to a few people, some other restaurant owners and this thing has built up to be pretty big," says Joey DeCuffa.

The restaurant owners set up a meeting this Thursday morning with State Senator John DeFrancisco and Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner. In recent years, DeFrancisco has openly questioned the amount of tax breaks going to the Destiny project and says he's interested in hearing from the 35 -40 restaurants and hotels expected to come.

"It's more and more difficult to get those tourists coming elsewhere because they can get their meals right at the mall - so I understand the problem. I'm not sure what the solution is but I'll be more than happy to listen," said DeFrancisco.

Joey DeCuffa says he understands why Destiny wanted to maximize their tax breaks and he just wants to know what it means for other restaurants moving forward. He is also saddened to see that visitors only have national chain restaurants to choose from while they are inside Destiny.

"All the money these restaurants take in-- that goes to their corporate headquarters. It isn't staying here in Onondaga county," said DeCuffa.