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Jim Ritchie

A tax abatement? Please tell me you're joking...as I recall, the city sold White Lodging the land for the new hotel for less than 20 dollars, and guaranteed their profit margin with public funds. By any measure, a tax abatement is a bit too much to ask.

Ed. note: It's no joke, Jim.

As you may recall, mine was the lone Council vote against tax abatements for the Harrison Condominiums.

Bobett Kelley

Thanks for voting against tax abatements on H.S. Condos.

I think if local government is serious about local input; then we should beable to vote on-line or phone calls. How many folks in this day and age can get down to this important meeting? Very few. So we need a forum that gives the tax payers a voice.

What does it take to confirm an address, name, registered voter I.D. social security number, Driver's I.D number, account of your last utility bill, ect...to hear the people?

It's time for major changes.

Side note: Do you think a public showing at this meeting...at this junction in time...
will change the City Council meeting minds
anyways?

Bobett Kelley

Vote no to tax abatements.
June 10th date for public hearing on tax abatement for the Harrison Square hotel:

Local government cannot "create" jobs or "opportunities": other than by artificially influencing a situation that always leads to a collapse and consumes more resources than offers "benefits." If a situation is not economical, throwing money at it won't change that equation, it just encourages an unstable situation to grow.

Jeff Herr

This absolutely infuriates me. I've pledged enough of my tax dollars to White Lodging already. We have guaranteed them a PROFIT!

If we've already guaranteed their profit margin, what is the purpose of an abatement? If they pay the taxes, it will just increase the subsidy we're giving them to ensure their profit. Unreal.

Who do I have to know to get these kinds of deals?

Mark Garvin

Jeff Herr raises an interesting point. Is our profit guaranty on gross profit or after tax profits? Also, we have already put them in A TIF district, so any taxes they do pay go solely to fund redevelopment commission projects, not schools, fire, police, etc, for the next 25 years or so.

I would rather give them the abatement (if our guaranty is on after tax return on investment), reducing the City's contractual payments when they fail, than have them pay taxes into the black hole of secrecy that is the Redevelopment Commission and have to use general tax revenues to pay more on the crazy profit guaranty that we made.

C. Edward Eckert

FW guarantees a profit? I sure hope you mean a certain level of gross income, not profit. If its profit anyone with any cents, would make sure they didn't turn a profit ever.

Government is very foolish. I can't understand why elected officials can't see that they have all the negociating power, but they always seem to think they have to do this or have to do that. Foolish stewards of public funds.

Bob Gaul

So, if I understand this correctly, City Council will hold this "public forum" in order to allow the people to have a "say" in the tax abatement for Harrison (read Costaplenty) Square.
And those that CAN make it will vent their ire at this latest "lump under the rug" (where all the dirt is swept these days).
And after all the NAYs are heard, city council will vote FOR the abatement anyway (I know you won't Mitch...you've got what we call SCRUPLES, and you like to sleep at night).

After a time, the company that received the abatement will pack up and leave town, selling out to ANOTHER enity that will ask for and probably receive the same abatement.
And we start the gravy-train all over again at the taxpayers' expense.

Ok...I think I "get it".
(rolls eyes)
BOHICA, my friends.

;)

B.G.

Robert Enders

I would have thought that the current revenue crunch would create a poor atmosphere for granting more tax abatements.

john b. kalb


Mark Garvin -Is it a "black hole of secrecy" or just plain "non-knowledge"? Did you read the Leatherman comment which was quoted by Ben in this mornings print JG? Where he was quoted as saying that the INTEREST on the two bonds issued to build the unnecessary downtown ballpark and the unneeded new parking garage would be $75 million? After controller Roller corrected him, he stated that he "misspoke", and the information that the total payback, principal and interest would total $75 million.
So the chief guy in Redevelopment, the entity that works out the requirements for redevelopment projects, solicts the bids, approves the contracts and then spends all the millions in the various TIF funds (sometimes without the required approvals), doesn't even know when his financial comments are totally "off-the-wall"!
Sure sounds like more than keeping a secret is involved here!

Jim Ritchie

As I read the agreement between White Lodging and the City, I noticed that our elected leaders agreed to not only provide construction-ready land, but forked over one million dollars for sidewalks, streetscapes, trees, etc to improve the aesthetics of publicly accessible areas. After it opens, WE are handing over 250K per year for at least the first ten years...after the first ten years, we either continue to give them 250K annually, or provide funds to meet their company's profit margin of 16%, whichever is less. The stench from this disaster-in-the-making is overwhelming.

Ed. note: Not this elected leader, Jim.

Jim Ritchie

Thanks, Mitch. I for one, appreciate you holding the line on government spending. Perhaps we can get some like-minded people to join you on the Council in the next few years, and local government can learn to act responsibly. Until then, thanks for your lone voice in the wilderness.

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