In a recent Buffalo News article about a potential move of some Internal Revenue Service jobs to the suburbs, the executive director of Buffalo Place, Richard T. Reinhard, opposed such a transfer. However, his arguments of the devastating economic implications for downtown are grossly overstated.
A significant portion of the taxpayer-service jobs subject to the proposed move are part-time or seasonal. Mr. Reinhard also implies some sort of duty for federal employees to patronize the rapid transit system. Unfortunately, this is not an alternative for the large segment of employees from north and south of the city.
Taxpayers would suffer no decrease in service at the downtown facility because most functions, including walk-in assistance and tax form preparation help, would remain. Only telephone "hot line" information and accounts jobs would be transferred.
A large number of affected IRS employees seem to favor a move. An informal survey among the rank and file determined that lack of available parking spaces and their high costs were the foremost considerations. No less demanding is maneuvering through the restricted one- and two-lane construction mazes the state calls the Thruway. It is just another reason why a downtown location has lost some of its desirability.
Any decision by GSA on a possible will inevitably be based upon a number of factors. It is not an unjustified, all-out race to leave downtown. If it is determined that there are more advantages to moving some taxpayer-service positions to the suburbs, so be it.