In Tuesday's city council meeting, councilman Glenn Hines mentioned that blogs have been critical of the council's decision on several recent tax abatements. He reminded everyone how important they are and wanted Elissa McGauley to help explain to everyone why they give these abatements and why they are considered economic development.
Now the problem with this is that the entire discussion came about after the council approved the expansion of a UPS facility here in town that will create several well-paying jobs. Nobody is arguing against such abatements, yet Hines and McGauley use this example to explain why abatements, in general, are important. Specifically they talk about how employers could leave the area or not choose to expand their business without the abatement.
Now readers of this blog will catch their bamboozle right away. We all know that the abatements we've been critical of were for a McDonald's (that was already built), a Subway (which violates the city's own downtown design guidelines), and a subsidized housing project that will create one job. Are we really afraid that Subway and McDonalds will choose to take their business elsewhere if we don't subsidize them? More importantly, do we care? Clearly nobody comes into the community or spends more money in the community because we have 1 more McDonalds or Subway. That's the real point here - the abatement was unnecessary and irrelevant but it's now opened the floodgates.
Go ahead and watch the video below, it's almost unbelievable that they attempt to use a legitimate use of abatements to explain why bloggers shouldn't be critical of all abatements. (Note: The audio and video are slightly out of sync due to YouTube's processing but I don't feel like fixing it)