Friday, March 03, 2006
THUMBS DOWN TO CONVENTION HOTEL BUILT WITH TIF BONDS
Money trees in Macon, Georgia: There is no money for pay scales for police officers and fire fighters, loans have to be obtained to meet payroll in the City before tax proceeds come in. But by granny, we have the ability to provide Tax Incremental Financing to finance a needed convention hotel where a need does not exist. How can that be, well you see here in the South we have these smart City Council people that allow the movers and shakers to convince them that it does not matter if the area around the Centreplex and Coliseum is blighted or it does not matter that hotel workers do not make a living wage or it does not matter about the expertise of the Crowne Plaza management that says their business will be harmed if a Convention Hotel is built to compete against them. Now if taxpayers are not supposed to be harmed by a Tax Incremental Financing plan, and the Crowne Plaza loses room rents by higher vacancy rates and by competition that drives down the per night room rate, then it is only common sense that the sales taxes collected will be less (remember the TIF Convention Hotel has abated taxes so long as the bond debt is outstanding). The government should not be in the business of helping one group of investors over another group of investors. The capital market system was designed to operate "hands off." Private competition is fair game, but the government is supposed to stay out of the game! I give a thumbs down to Tax Incremental Financing used to build a Convention Hotel.