Skip to comments.Hoosier Hysteria
Posted on 07/20/2003 7:46:47 PM PDT by Arrowhead
For those of you who read more than your local paper, the Indianapolis Star and our own county seat paper, the Anderson Herald, is full of reports of angry taxpayers. There was one editorial in the Star when a citizen had drawn a correlation between the double and triple property levy on residents because of the abusive practice of city and council governments giving abatements to corporations.
I have long held the same correlation and have even been to my city council meetings complaining about this very issue for the last year. If any of you attend your council meetings, you will find that virtually most companies are playing one community against the other selling the idea that for them (the companies) to remain on a competitive edge, they must have these abatements because of other communities offering the same deal. Also, they use crafty language to imply the threat of packing up their operations and moving to a community that WILL cater to their extortionist practices. Right here at home, our council do not even know the costs to the city when saying yes.
Two weeks ago, I attend our council meeting when a company here in town ask for another abatement. The council started to motion to accept the "findings of the facts" (what a joke because they did not even assert what those facts were) and vote on the measure. They all had their minds made up before the motion. Anyway, the motion was going forward and the issue had not even been open to the floor of the public to question or comment. I interjected and said, "Hey!! Are you going to open this issue on the floor for the public to question or comment?!" (I was angry to say the least). The Mayor recognized me and I asked the council if they knew what the cost to the city is for giving the abatement. The MAYOR reacts with the answer, "There is no cost to the city." I said, "WHAT????!!!!" Then, The MAYOR, clearly pissed, not the council President, covered the mic, put his head down, mumbled something, then raised his head and said, "No. We do not know how much."
Now, I wonder...if the mayor does not know, then does it stand to reason that the council does not know? And as it turned out, they did not. I even asked the salesmen from the company. They did not know either. Moreover, does it stand to reason that if the council does not know how much money we are talking about, they are really in no position to even say no? How can they have any leverage to say no if they do not know how much money is involved? My point: they had no intentions of saying no from the beginning. Why? Probably because of FEAR! Fear that they will lose the company to another municipality and then lose their seat in the next election. Also, the council have no criteria for even saying no to these companies.
Lo & Behold, after a year of complaining about this, I open the Anderson Herald to find that the two mayoral candidates are posed the question about the appropriate use of the abatement. They both virtually agreed that it should be used "sparingly." But, you would not deduce any truth in the reasoning by watching politicians in action.
This bull cookie cooking has got to STOP!
Though I was wanting to save specific agenda items until we meet, I want to share one only by virtue of the fact that the heat is rising on this issue and we have not seen the boiling point yet. While we observe the heat getting hotter, I plan to suggest that we consider freeping the state capitol at the right time by creating a rally. As sure as the sun rises, I know that if we lead the way, we would get bucu support from all over the state.
What say you, O Hoosiers of a noble birthright?
Sorry, like to ham it up some when I get indignate.
No offense Sir, but you assume too much. I am outlaying only one small piece of what is otherwise a large formula of need for reform. "Breaks" as you call them do not bode well for a senior citizen with a limited income and an old house that is already paid for and they have to determined whether they can keep their home.
Arrowhead---corporate welfare AND social welfare--->
ah geez, this ranting again. Chill out. You're never going to get anything accomplished with this scattershot Losertarian attacking of all sides.
I was born in Indiana, I'm glad I left, the "conservatives" there are so disorganized, and so ignorant of how a free market economy functions that I many times wonder how they vote GOP like they do with the Democratic party so adept at appealing to ignorance of capitalism. "If only FDR could come back, he would fix all our problems."
Corporate Welfare is an epitaph of the Democratic party, designed to equate their give aways with the GOP's reduction of corpoate taxes, which creates jobs and keeps workers paying into your social security. The fact you put yourself up as a representative of reform for the ills of my birthplace makes me fear that Indiana will never understand how to turn its economy upwards and continue to languish in mediocrity which always allows the Democrates to slip into more offices.
Not me! I think it depends on the corporation and what they do.
If a large retail corp., I assume it's unfair to the competition, many local businesses who helped build communities, who don't get the same tax breaks.
My hometown (pop. 8,000) just poured $1.3 million into infrustructure for a Lowes. The first $100,000 from their sales tax for 10 years will go to pay it off. Is it fair to the local home improvement mom's and pop's that will have to compete with them? Some have been in business 50 years and never got a dime in rebate, but pay commercial rates for utilities.
Seventy miles down the road, another town of similar size is getting a new Lowes and they didn't give them a "hello."
If I was to use the cases in my own council meetings to answer your question, it would be, "that depends." As I said in my post, the city council do not even know how much money with which they have to bargain. There may be an amount that the council can determine would not be in the best interests of the company to move. In that case, they should say no. But, my council has no idea. And in the last meeting, the company representatives did not even know how much they were saving in terms of the abatement. If they did, then they lied. And if they lied, that gives cause for the council to be even more wary of their requests to capitalize at the expense of the tax payer.
We have idiots on county commisioners court, city council and school board.
People deserve what they get.
Moreover, why would we privateers give more rope for the politicians to hang the very head of what really feeds corporations? I believe a 33 trillion dollar debt says much for the fact that if corporations keep depriving communities of the lawful payment of their own taxes, it will eventually bankrupt them, not to mention the people...who are the ones that purchase the corporations products.
I would think, from a more professional perspective (that being taking the moral fiber into account in the decision-making), that corporations would want to pay their taxes. I believe this would have two major effects:
1. It would not "bite the hands that feed them," as the saying goes.
2. It puts conservatism in a better light for those in the dark to come and see (and would include those within our own ranks, as so alluded to Hoosier conservatives).
It would appear that you have had this dialogue before. Tell me, what is YOUR definition of capitalism, since everybody seems to have one? Mine is this: The freedom to profit off ones' OWNERSHIP.
We have went from that to profitting off other peoples wealth (banks) to profitting off the taxpayer (abatements & tax credits). Sorry, I draw my line at the banks. And if I had it my way, I would tell the federal reserve and their cronies to take a flying hike up the southside of their own usury and destroy all banks. But, that would seem too extreme to all knowing capitalists like yourself, eh?
Instead of staying in your homeland to fix the problems and make your home a better place to live, you skate the state and flee to where the "grass is greener on the other side, eh?" Perhaps somewhere you can take advantage of taxpayers? Well, we all know how that works. There may be more money there but, no honor in acquiring it.
You see Sir, I have been in this dialogue for enough years to know that the real value in the acquisition of wealth is not in the acquisition itself. It is in the method it was acquired. Corporations capitalizing off the taxpayers, especially when the payment is arbitrarily abated or arbitrarily credited compromises the honor in wealth building. A principle that only a moral people is fortunate to know and fortifide to exercise.
Arrowhead>>--can't make it on their own corps.--->
Leave it to a Texan to see with bigger eyes. Thank you. In an earlier post, that is what I meant when grants, "tax credits," and abatements are arbitraily given.
In another "Special Session" council meeting in my hometown, a company that has shown excellent steady growth for the last 20 years was asking for a $499,000 federal block grant to virtually pay for all the costs to build new migrant housing back to back to a neighborhood of single resident housing (needless to say, the people in the neighborhood were furious). Anyway, I pointed out that programs like this violate the 10th Amendment of the Constitution and strips our state and the individual of their own sovereignty. The President of the company agreed with me.."in principle."
Side note: Most of the Council had no idea what I was talking about. But the President of the corporation did.
Anyway, he went on about jusitifying the compromise of of his own conscience and rationalized that this money would be a repayment of all the taxes his corporation has paid through the years. Well, my heart bleeds for you.
I said, "Well, Mr.X, I am a business man. Where is my grant? I need more equipment to handle the increase of demand for my product. Where is my grant? " The room sat silent for a moment, then I said, "You see, this is the problem. This money is taken out of my pocket to send to Washington DC only to be redistributed to the states for whatever arbitrary means the State and County Council of Governments decide to distribute it. That IS a violation of the 10th Amendment, not to mention that it is morally wrong for John Q, worker to pay for your project without any representation."
Then he rationalizes, "Well, Mr.Y, by receiving this grant, this frees up money for our company to invest in other areas that it may bring more jobs to our community." Gee, is this guy slick, or what?
I said, "Again, Mr. X, where is my relief to expand my operations?" He then said that the money was not given to them on a silver platter. "We have to compete for this grant." Yeah! Right! I did my homework. The only competition for the company to receive the money was themselves. It was just a matter of the company going through the red tape. Or should I say, getting the red tape in order.
Besides this President insulting my intelligence, he freely admitted, through his own rationalization, that the company had the money to build the project. But, being granted the grant would help him divert money toward "other investments" so that he MAY hire more people. In other words, he wants the taxpayer to expand his operations.
I do not give a hootin' tarnation how capitalist anyone is or even how conservative anyone is. If this is the definition of conservatism and capitalism, then I want no part of it. Especially at the expense of TRUE small business. The Corporate mental hounds want us (the people) to believe their interpretation of capitalism. Well bullhockey, I say! While Corporations virtually control elected officials through buying their campaigns, it seems obvious to me that the structure of our laws has benefitted corps greatly at the expense of mom & pop. How can small business even start, let alone exist, when the rules (the rules laid down by corporations) do not allow them to?
The evidence is quite clear. So why do the corp hounds deny the moral account of it? Is it because they know that the way things are, it favors them? With their crafty approaches to us country bumkins and their consistence gratifying of their pride and covering of their sins, their wealth buiding is left to greed. Pure and simple. Thanks again lonestar, for having eyes wide open.
Arrowhead>>>--greedy corp hounds--->
They asked the city to pay $8000 to remove an old gasoline tank from the property.
Bureaucrats love to give tax money so they can brag how many jobs they've brought to town. Without the tax money they have no bragging rights.
What I love is how the government employees (city managers, etc.) love to spend public money.
--"One of the biggest myths is that in order to foster economic development, a community must accept growth. The truth is that growth must be distinguished from development: Growth means to get bigger, development means to get better..." but, "... often local governments will subsidize superstore development through infrastructure expansion (sound familiar?) in the name of economic development, only to facilitate more sprawl and municipal debt.
It is estimated that superstores return between 6 to 16% of their revenues to the community - compared with a 60% return by locally-owned business. Local entrepreneurs nourish the community, link commerce to place, and minimize the leakage of money from the local economy."--
BTW, I am part of an orgnaization that seeks to synergize certain, credible, constitutional orgs to move government back within it's constitutional jurisdiction. Three such members are from Texas. As a matter of fact, we started out our org by several of us from all over the states meeting at Lake Whitney. We officially began there on July 4th 1999.
I love Texas, but there is no place like home. Especially the big laugh I get when watching our elected officials trip over their own logic. Would not miss it for the world.
Stay the course Lonestar...
Any chance you could become a Hoosier? ;^)
I agree that there should be full disclosure on request. I bet that the council does know how much it is costing, too, they just don't want to admit it. I'm just not with the people who want to "stick it to businesses". I got my job from one, so I'm kind of partial to them sticking around.
I love Texas, it is home! :)
We're talking about businesses getting taxpayer money to move to a town and many times putting small businesses that have been there for decades out of business. They are the same businesses who support the local communities more than the Wal-marts, Lowes and Walgreens.
They go into communities and the dollar they take in today is sent to their home office overnight. They provide minimum wage jobs; 39 hours a week. It is very harmful to samll towns.
Sux big time!!
Consider this: If you decided that you were going to expand onto your home a large room addition that makes the mechanics of living more suitable so you can add another child to your family, a child that will grow up and pay taxes, do you think that if you took your expansion project to the City Council and ask for a ten year abatement on the reassessed value of your home, that you would get it?
Of course, they would laugh at you. So, why are we not laughing at the corporations? What is so differnt from their expansion projects than yours? You add a room, they add a warehouse. You add furnishings to the room, they add equipment to the warehouse. You add a child to your family (who btw, grows to help around the house and ultimately finds a job or is instrumental in creating jobs) and they add an employee.
Is there any real difference other than scale? And if not, I say what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If we have to pay the full weight of reassessment by virtue of improving our residential properties with no recourse for relief, then corporations should be required to pay their share as well. Contrary to some on this forum, if the corporations get "breaks," it does fall back upon those who do not! Namely, residents!
The astute business man understands, especially in terms of economies of scale, that a loss of financial opportunity can never be regained. Such is the nature of the abatement. Once we say yes, we can never regain that loss. And that is why the abatement should be used "sparingly."
Are you old enough to remember when a soda drink was a treat instead of a general rule of consumption? Well, if you are, then you are old enough to see how the exception in using the abatement nowadays has become the general rule as well. Just as the mass doses of the consumption of sugar has created a hyperactive reduction in our health, so has the extra consumption of corporations use of abatement result in the poor health of our economy.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.