Tonight the Lehigh County Commissioners had their first reading of Bill 2011-55.
This is a pass through Subgrant from the State to St. Luke's Hospital for 7 Million dollars. This money is for the building of a parking garage to increase their parking.This is presented as a matching Grant. However the parking garage will cost 7 million and their match will be completing the 5th floor of their building. I would like to thank everyone in the rest of the State for their contribution to Lehigh County and the City of Allentown.
I believe that if St.Like's Hospital need more parking, they should build it themselves.
As the Lehigh Valley continues to try and attract new Business to PA, the State continues to provide Corporate Welfare to these Businesses.
From my perspective, we should be attracting new employers by enabling them to operate in a "Business" friendly environment. We should not be BUYING companies to come here. For the most part, Companies will move to a location that is paying their way. But, will stay where they can operate in a friendly and profitable environment. That means low corporate taxes,reasonable regulations and as little Government interference as reasonably possible.This dose not describe Pa at this time. This is what we should be working on, not providing CORPORATE WELFARE.
These programs profit the Companies involved with the risk being shouldered by the Tax Payers.
We have been seeing this waste of tax payers money in the "TOO BIG TO FAIL" Government bail outs, and now PA is jumping on the band wagon in the name of "Economic Development". We should really change the name to "CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT"
You can't blame the Corporations for taking what they can get from people to involved in their own importance, to really give a dam about the Tax Payer. It seems as time goes on, the Government gets dumber and dumber, or is it they just a care less and less about the Tax Payer.
This is from the morning call 5/31.2011
The Lehigh Valley has snagged another company from Jersey.
United Bank Card, which processes credit and debit card payments for merchants, will relocate corporate and warehouse operations from two facilities in Hunterdon County, N. J. to Hanover Township, Lehigh County, bringing 175 jobs to the Valley later this year.
The Irving Street facility, which was formerly used by Kraft Foods, will serve as the company's new headquarters and also will house a call center and warehouse.
United Bank Card processes more than $9 billion in transactions annually at 110,000 locations around the country.
The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. helped the company obtain $778,750 in funding from the state Department of Community and Economic Development: a $350,000 grant, $78,750 for job training assistance and $350,000 in tax credits.
Luke Webber, a spokesman with the state Department of Community and Economic Development, said the $350,000 grant requires the company to create 175 jobs at the new location within three years. Wage information of the jobs to be created is not public, he said.
Pete Reinke, vice president of regional development for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., said the company inquired about office space about nine months ago because it is growing and needs more space.
The 175 jobs include a mix of corporate office jobs, call center jobs and warehousing, Reinke said. How many people will commute from New Jersey and how many people will be hired is not clear, he said. But it is still beneficial to fill a vacant building and bring jobs to the Valley, he said. United Bank Card did not return phone calls seeking comment.
This is not community development this is Corporate Welfare. It seem that the only way Lehigh County can get jobs is by spending Taxpayers money to buy them. Even at that, their is no guarantee that they will stay. Pennsylvania has the worst corporate Taxes in the Country and until, we change that, we will only be able to get jobs by buying them with Taxpayers money.
It was not revealed how many of these employees live in Pa now. For sake of argument if all these people live in NJ we would be paying $ 4450 per job.
This is cheaper then what we paid for Avantor Performance Materials to move from Phillipsburg. Eighty five percent of their 140 employees already live in PA. and we gave them $ 4 million to move to the Lehigh Valley. This equates to $ 190,000 per job.
Remember this is Taxpayers money.
Back on March 25th I posted some comments about Corporate Welfare. This was a case involving a company from Phillipsburg,NJ moving their Headquarters to Lehigh County.
At the County Meeting Commissioners Thomas Creighton and Dean Browning went a little overboard in their praise of this Corporate welfare plan. It seems that these welfare scams are beginning to be seen for what they are by other States. Hopefully Pennsylvania will follow suit.
South Carolina Rejects (Some) Corporate Welfare
There's Nexus in Texas. Amazon says it has no physical presence in the state, but its sign for its Irving facility disagrees.
Amazon.com, Inc. already had been gifted free land, worker training and tax abatements before starting to build a new distribution center in S.C. But that wasn't enough. The corporation demanded five years of sales-tax free operation in the state, threatening to abandon its plans otherwise. Small businesses and taxpayer advocates fought the scheme and won this week, as a strong bi-partisan majority in the House refused to undermine in-state retailers with this additional giveaway. The S.C. Commerce Secretary credited "an emerging public view that businesses deserve a level playing field on matters of tax policy, especially sales tax policy." Kudos to our friends at the S.C. Small Business Chamber, SIBA and others for their stand.
We hope the state will now act on the aggressive fixes proposed in this just-published Bloomberg / Business Week commentary by AMIBA's Jeff Milchen. He contends Amazon should be made to collect sales tax in all of the states where it maintains facilities (it does so in only five of 17) and that we must pass national reform to stop handicapping storefront businesses. Please keep this momentum growing by sharing widely!
State-level reforms also continue to progress, with Texas and Connecticut advancing bills this month (the CT bill foolishly adds a sales tax increase to a measure squeezing the "Amazon loophole," undermining the work of tax fairness advocates). We're eager to help you with local outreach on the topic, such as producing local op-eds or materials. Also, AMIBA just released this collection charting the many Amazon Inc. facilities in the U.S. that seem to go unnoticed by state officials, as well as further sales tax reform action resources.
In the name of Economic Development the County Commissioners voted to pass Bill 2011-25.
Commissioner Creighton was the first to show his enthusiasm for this bill. Followed by Commissioner Browning, McCarthy and Dougherty.
Three of these four Commissioners claim to be our Conservative Representatives on this board but, ATTITUDE speaks louder the words.
Although I did expect this bill would and should be passed. I didn't expect such euphoria about it. This was a pass through Grant from the State. I have nothing against Avantor taking the 3 Million dollars they were offered. It makes good business sense for them. My problem is this is CORPORATE WELFARE.
“These are high paying private sector jobs that we’re bringing to Lehigh County and we’re doing that with the assistance of our new governor and in cooperation with our county executive,” said Commissioner Chairman Dean Browning.
Not everyone was pleased that public funds were being used to lure a private company to the state. Stan Bialecki, a Tea Party activist from Bethlehem who is a regular at commissioners meetings, said sarcastically, “It’s really so nice to see everybody so enthusiastic to spend state money to buy jobs for Pennsylvania.”
Commissioners are pleased to bring the jobs to the county. Commissioner Dean Browning said the company's salaries average $87,000, which is well above the national average.
"Nice to see everyone's so enthusiastic about spending $3 million to buy jobs for Pennsylvania," Bialecki said. "I don't think it's a good idea."
Browning retorted by saying he could see that Bialecki felt it was better to leave the high-paying jobs in New Jersey.
"It's at these trying economic times we should be going into overdrive to get more companies to move into Lehigh County," Commissioner Percy Dougherty said.
Corporate Welfare is not how we should be spending State Tax money. This is "BUYING" jobs and not real Community Development. The way to attract companies to Pa.is to make it a good place to do business. If anyone is fool enough to believe that paying Companies to move to your location is a good idea, I have a bridge to sell them.