Excellent points Jim...Your last statement said it best......What we need is more truth and transparency in our government, not more promises that may or may not be kept.
Rosenbeck responds to Hawley's defense of COR tax breaks
Submitted by Howard Owens on May 20, 2013 - 8:24pm
Jim Rosenbeck, a member of the Genesee County Libertarian Committee who's planning a run for an at-large seat on the City Council, submitted this response to Steve Hawley's defense of the COR Development tax breaks:
I often agree with Steve Hawley, as Libertarians often do, when republicans champion fiscally responsible positions. But that wasn't the case on May 17th. That day, Mr. Hawley put out a press release lauding GCEDC's successful effort to offer abatement of taxes to COR Development. COR will in turn use those subsidies to offset costs of remodeling their property in the Batavia Towne Center in order to fit the needs of the next tenant, Dick's Sporting Goods. In exchange for tax abatements approaching 2 million dollars, we are promised new local jobs and additional sales tax revenue.
As I recall, we heard that same promise once before when COR received six million dollars in tax abatement to develop their property for among others, the long gone Lowes Corporation. So now, we double down on our bet, while we hope and pray that Dick's Sporting Goods delivers as COR has promised. But let's look a bit closer at these promises. Is COR or Dick's promising full-time jobs? Are they full-time jobs that also pay a living wage? No, of course they aren't. During their public hearing COR talked in terms of full-time job "equivalents." That is corporate double talk for part-time and low-wage jobs, the kind of jobs that are fine for students but don't work so well for single moms who need to pay the rent. That is the dirty little secret that COR won't tell you and Dick's won't tell you, and sadly on May 17th, Steve Hawley also neglected to tell you. To add insult to injury the most handsome job created by GCEDC goes to the guy with the greatest vested interest in perpetrating the illusion of quality jobs. Yes, the best job that GCEDC has created to date is the one that is held by its President and CEO Steve Hyde.
But let's not forget the promise of sales tax revenues. Are we significantly increasing the size of the sales tax pie by subsidizing the development of Dick's Sporting Goods? I wonder. I would like to know what portion of any sales tax revenue produced by Dick's would still have been realized from a similar sale at Olympia, T-Shirts Etc., Barrett's or perhaps Fisher Sports. No one knows. For COR to promise significant increases in tax revenues is at best speculative and certainly self-serving. We should remain skeptical whenever we are promised sales tax revenue and jobs with one hand while the other hand lobbies our County Legislature for nearly a quarter of a million dollars for its own funding next year.
Growing government through Economic Development Corporations (EDCs) in order to address the problems created by big government....high taxes, over regulation, cumbersome bureaucracy is simply counter intuitive. Our economic problems are systemic. They are symptomatic of a state government gone awry. I am unwilling to accept that the answer to big government is to create a whole new bureaucracy with a CEO making close to a quarter of a million dollars a year. We need to stop creating the good jobs on the backs of the taxpayers while promising a small sliver of the pie to the people who pay the bills. I am not ready to pretend differently. I am not ready to concede hope that we can do better. What we need is more truth and transparency in our government, not more promises that may or may not be kept. I agree with Steve Hawley much of the time. This time, I don't.
Well said, sir.
Dont worry, the general public is too stupid to know whats good for them, lets railroad this thorough and then they will see that its the best thing for them....
Chris, this is not meant derisively but often your snarkyness (sarcasm) really holds some valid points. People like you need to attend a few Legislature meetings...look these people in the eye and speak these comments you post here. I think if even 20 people did so it would really cause some paranoia and make these legislators think we arent really as complacent as they think we are.
Everything Rosenbeck said is right on target. Batavia doesn't need any more shopping. If you really want to bring people to Batavia and Genesee County you need to expand outside of just retail. I know a lot of people might like having a Dicks here but it isn't going to bring in all this extra cash and people that they are trying to make you believe. Dicks has locations in Rochester and Buffalo so it's not like people from outside the county would come just to Dicks. For COR to come back and request more money after they already failed is greedy and outrageous. I hope people will come to their senses and stop letting a handful of people do whatever they want.
Snarkeyness. My new favorite word. Thanks, Kyle!
The only time Mr. Hyde, the GCEDC and the County Legislators were being truthful is when they say it looks bad to have the empty building where Lowe's was. It is a glaring and obvious mistake that should have never been. Now they all want the taxpayers to pony up and protect their images and cover their mistake.
Reminds me of:
Your welcome Ed..