Grifter Companies Looking for Tax Abatements, Free Land, and other Spiffs

Corporate Welfare as the New Con

Grifter Companies Looking for Tax Abatements, Free Land, and other Spiffs

25 March 2014 at 1:29:18 PM

When did it occur that there became an expectation with businesses that, for them to go to a particular community  or state, that entity was going to have to bribe them to do it? Instead of, say, a business deciding based on other factors, such as land prices, location, ability to hire the right workers, etc, some businesses now go places based on whether they can get government to give them a handout. And it's decidedly different for a small business that has put skin in a game, pays property taxes, and not only cannot qualify for the handouts but probably doesn't expect to if they have an actual work ethic.

Oh, I've seen plenty of examples of this happening for years now. I remember when Northstar Mall in the mid-cities took people's houses to expand the parking lot at the mall. And when Arlington took people's homes to build the BallPark at Arlington. And when, egregiously, the dang Supreme Court said it was okay to take people's homes and property for other than a PUBLIC purpose (still don't think lawmakers have fixed this-WHY NOT?) In all these cases, this was not government using its power on behalf of people to provide entities such as good roads, water service, police, fire, etc. for EVERYBODY and not special interests. And I always go back, like feeling a sore tooth with your tongue, to how it is that the Republican party gripes and gripes about PEOPLE who get, for example, social security THAT THEY HAD TAKEN OUT OF THEIR CHECK SO IT IS NOT AN ENTITLEMENT as being con artists, grifters, lazy people who want to take advantage of government, while it's okay to have BUSINESSES be the welfare recipients. This while whining all the time about how government should be small. You want small government and fiscal responsiblity? Then QUIT putting government as the middleman in deals that favor one type of business over another. Why in the world should government be granting favors to businesses anyway but especially if you BELIEVE government should tend to its duties to be protecting PEOPLE?

More than that, seems to me that businesses have come to expect that governments are just sitting ducks for a pitch. "Yeah, I know my business can't get bank financing,, but you'll give it to me, right? Our credit is no good, so can we get YOU to get on the hook for this? Of course we can because you're desperate to have us. And oh, by the way, I want tax abatements, and I want you to give me some land or I won't come to your little burg". I'm not merely talking about Somervell County but I've seen this for years. Read just about any media source and you will find examples of some government entity pouring out money to bribe someone to come to their area. Heck, Rick Perry does it, ala entities like the Texas Enterprise Fund. You think those businesses come to Texas because they just like it here? Or maybe you agree with Rick Perry that there isn't any money for teachers but oh, baby, let's fund Formula One Racing.

Makes me think, overall, that the con games run by people who were previously picking up wallets, doing 3 card monte, or some other grifter game, have now graduated to the "Government as Suckers" con. If government has now decided that THEY want to be ones in business, then do we all agree that that is government's role? I personally don't. If I, today, go out and start a business of my own, I expect that I will have to get financing and have enough ooomph to make it work. Even if a government decided to release me from paying property taxes for X # of years, I think that government ought to be equitable for ALL businesses and not base it on some nebulous number like "We'll have X number of employees in the future", which number can be FUDGED.

Some examples, not all of the below do I necesarily consider grifters, but they certainly did want the corporate government welfare if they could get it .

Remember when Darrell Best and others decided to vote to give Land of the Dinosaurs show $80,000 WITHOUT A CONTRACT? Even the auditor said that was illegal and who knows whether that money was actually recovered. But why did the investors for LOD go to city government anyway instead of GOING TO PRIVATE INVESTORS TO GET THEIR OWN FUNDING. In other words, if someone can't make it a go by going to a bank or getting private financing, WHY should government be funding them?

I also recall when the local hotels came to City of Glen Rose and asked for them to vote to prevent any other hotels from building here. No "free enterprise" for those folks, they wanted government to step into the role of making sure that one business over another succeeded. Fair? No.

How about Jerry Jacene and the fossils on Larry Smith's land? We heard recently he's asking for more moolah. Larry Smith, of course, tried to get millions of dollars from the Glen Rose 4b board several years ago to build a water park on his property on the north side of Hwy 67. .

Remember when there was supposedly not supposed to be any type of competition for camping or RV spots? But then Somervell County BUILT stations in the parking lot at the Expo Center? Or when City of Glen Rose decided to buy and operate Oakdale Park as a company?

Why is Somervell County operating a golf course? For the people who believe in private enterprise, LOOKING AT YOU TO JUSTIFY THIS. When the Expo Center, Glen Rose Medical Center, or the Amphitheatre have not made enough money to be a going enterprise, who's subsidizing it? You and me. Why?

If, as it appears is the case now, businesses look to taxing people in a local community in order to bring a business there, or expect that the government will let them avoid paying property taxes that other businesses pay, or think that local governments should just give away land to them, then aren't those businesses actually the ones that see government as sheep waiting to be fleeced? It's like it is now commonplace for businesses without a pot to pee in to decide to see if a government entity will fund them, and, if not, find some other willing entity. It makes the phrase "In the running" kind of a sick joke in that it puts the business in the position of asking for all the spiffs from the government that is willing to take risks with the community.. or else.






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