Friday, August 15, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake 2 . . .

Well, it didn't take long to come up with an example to contrast with the tax breaks given to the Matt Brewery. Per the Sentinel:
A hotel project in the Town of Verona has received a tax break, but not the full package . . ."

... the company did not get the requested 10-year partial property tax break or exemption from sales tax on construction materials, and building equipment and furnishings.
Why the difference?
By its own policy, the IDA does not normally support retail projects to avoid the appearance of favoring one business over similar ones and, instead, focuses more on commercial areas like manufacturing.
Sounds reasonable, until you read the fine print: a Microtel down the street opened without any breaks. Obviously not all hotels are alike.

Sounds reasonable, until you think that back in February, the tax breaks were given to a residential development in Kirkland (i.e., not commercial, not manufacturing) Do all residential developments get this break? Or are some residential developers (like hoteliers) favored over others? What about "appearances?"

Ad hoc decisions? Arbitrary and capricious decisions?

What standards are applied? Who decides? Where are they written? Since all taxpayers are affected (because some get breaks and others do not) our County Legislature would seem to have jurisdiction over this area. Did they give IDA a set of reasonable standards, or did they simply delegate their responsibility to unelected officials?

Just what IS the IDA's "policy?"

Pass me more cake!

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