Billionaire Tom Golisano is at the end of his rope over goose poop on his lawn. Tennis pro Monica Seles' husband says he's tried everything to get rid of the birds, including tying up fishing line, spraying repellent, and even placing a wolf decoy. Nothing has worked.
Golisano says that when he and his family visit their vacation home there are often 100 – 200 Canadian geese on the lawn.
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.
Now Golisano, founder of the payroll company Paychex, is refusing to pay his taxes if something isn't done about the non-migrating birds. But the birds aren't the only thing upsetting Golisano. He believes many people living in upstate New York are being overtaxed on their properties. In fact, Golisano set up a website called TaxMyPropertyFairly.com to give citizens the tools to challenge their property taxes. He will also file a class action lawsuit.
Co-founder of the New York Independence Party and three-time candidate for governor, Golisano is no stranger to the inside of a courtroom. He once sued a remodeler who was working on his yacht for overcharging on furniture. Golisano won and was awarded $50,000, which he donated to the Golisano Autism Center being built nearby. The $50,000 was added to the $2.5 million he's already donated.
When asked why a billionaire would bother suing a contractor for $50,000, Golisano said:
It's the principle.