(A name given to me by the City Controller since I regularly attend the Council Meetings and 14 Budget Hearings)
What is an "Abatement" given to a business? The short answer is they are given a pass on paying some or all of their taxes.
The current Community Investment Director, James Mueller, says he likes, "Aggressive Abatements to stimulate economic growth". He says it results in new jobs.
With a $260,000,000*+ Debt load and a Circuit Breaker in 2020, I'm concerned about giving away needed tax revenue to offset that debt.
* Debt amount changes as some debt is paid off and new debt is added
The Mayor and the Community Investment Director present businesses wanting Abatements to the Council to be voted on. So far, they have been unanimously approved.
So how aggressive have the Abatements become? We've gone from around $1M a year to over $36M a year. Do we have it to give away? Are you, the taxpayer, okay with picking up the slack? Is it really giving us jobs or is it just a tax giveaway?
But have they really increased high paying jobs? Over 60 companies were granted 10 year Abatements where they have to pay NO TAXES to help offset our debt. (These were unanimously approved by the current Council and proposed by Community Investment Director James Mueller.)
Here is a link to my research on those Abatements. If you click on the black buttons it will give you the Clerk certified documents. My opinion is we aren't getting the needed returns. You decide. Can we afford over $100,000,000 in Abatements and counting? They have locked us in for a decade on many of them.
How would I change this process? I have a 10 point checklist I think the Council needs to use when presented with a company wanting an Abatement.
Are these incentives helpful or not? Here is another perspective on it...
It is my goal as an Advocate to involve YOU in the process.
If these are your priorities, I need your VOTE and Donations!
My campaign is a grassroots one. Donations are appreciated and helpful!
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