Archive for Economic Development

Tampa Choo-Choo in the news

Posted in Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , , on June 7, 2013 by GoThere.com

“The push for rail is not about relieving congestion or getting people from point A to point B, but is rather about developing high-density communities that qualify for HUD affordable housing grants, EPA grants for supposedly improving air quality, Department of Transportation funds for mass transit, and Department of Energy grants for supposedly reducing dependence on oil”

Read the article

Hillsborough Economic Prosperity Stakeholder Committee

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL with tags , , , on April 5, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Hillsborough taxpayers paid many tens of thousands of dollars on County economic development studies to determine which specific industries should be targeted in order to create local high-paying jobs.

Those “target industries” included:

  • Biotechnology & Medical Devices
  • Medicine & Medical Management
    • Electronic Health Records
    • Medical Simulation & Training
  • Cross-Business Functions
    • Shared Services
    • Business Analytics
    • Information Technology
    • Headquarters Enabling Functions
  • Financial Services
    • Middle/Back Office Operations
  • Defense & Security
    • Security and Technology
    • Security/Intelligence Consulting

Question: how many of these target industries are represented on the new Hillsborough Economic Prosperity Stakeholder Committee?

Answer: none, they all went to the land development industry.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Ignoring our own

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Job-creators with tags , on March 14, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

What happened to old-fashioned free market capitalism?

If Bass Pro Shops determined that it would be profitable for them to locate in Tampa, they would, with no incentives.

What happened to Hagan’s Economic Development Task Force recommendation that Hillsborough County incentivize only bio-tech, medical, manufacturing and high-tech businesses?

Adding “destination-retail” to the list to include Bass Pro ignores that few people south of Sarasota or east of Lakeland are likely to visit a Tampa store, with existing stores in Ft. Myers and Orlando; and none of them will stay overnight just to shop here. 

It ignores that most jobs will be low-wage, part-time and no-benefit.  

The County’s math calculates that taxpayers will be repaid in five years, but there seems to be no calculations as to how many existing mom and pop sporting goods business will fall off the tax rolls as a result.

What happened to growing our own?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Hillsborough mobility to nowhere

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , , on March 12, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

 

To paraphrase a line from Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky, “…shun the frumious Bonder-snatch!”

How is it that “bonding” is so often proposed as a municipal funding source that supposedly does not raise taxes?

Selling bonds to pay for road construction is like charging home remolding to your credit card.

You get what you want now without waiting and you pay it back with future earnings; but the interest payments reduce your spendable income.

As we’ve seen with reduced county income from property and sales taxes, painful budget cuts have to come from somewhere else.

Hillsborough County is already nearly a BILLION dollars in debt in bond obligations, with crippling interest payments.

 Apart from the get-it-now-pay-for-it-later fantasy world we get to live in, who benefits from municipal bonding?

There are the attorneys who actually create the tax-free bonds that are sold by brokers to investors who re-sell them to someone looking for somewhere better than a bank to park their excess money.

Everyone along the line makes a profit, with the end bondholder receiving taxpayer money with no obligation to pay any income taxes.

 Perhaps instead of borrowing money to pay for new roads out to the hinterlands, we should give incentives to employers who build businesses near where people live, and incentives for home builders who build near employment centers?

That way, as we learn to pay as we go, we could also pay off the County debt and use the saved interest payments for something useful, like more buses that run on solar and clean natural gas.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Fourth strike for Hagan

Posted in Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Politics, taxes, Transportation with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan is batting zero in his attempts at hitting a task force home run.

His Transportation Task Force was formed to recommend a Choo-Choo for Tampa.

His I-4 Task Force was formed to recommend paving over east county farmlands at taxpayer expense.

His Economic Development Taskforce was formed to recommend tax breaks for Bass Pro Shop.

Now he wants an Economic Prosperity Stakeholders Task Force formed to recommend taxpayers footing the bills for new roads, sewers, water, and fire and police services in order to “attract new business”.

 All these task forces have simply cost taxpayers a ton of money in outside consultants’ fees.

To paraphrases a line from the movie Blazing Saddles: “We don’t need no stinking task forces.”

Commissioner Sandra Murman didn’t need a task force to start a very successful incentive program to encourage the actual creation of new jobs.

But then maybe we should save Hagan the time, expense and embarrassment of another failed task force and just give him a walk on this one?

After all, according to Hagan, with all the tax and fee cuts already approved by the BOCC over the past few years, The County isn’t bringing in much money from new businesses anyway, so what’s to lose?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Rays on rail?

Posted in Ballpark, Economic Development, Hillsborough County, FL, Transportation with tags , , , on January 23, 2012 by verbumsapienti2

Training wheels for Tampa Choo-ChooDid Mike Sasso (Tampa Tribune Jan. 23, 2012) ask San Diego Metropolitan Transit what it did to their budget when the Padres moved from the mixed-use QUALCOMM stadium they shared with the Chargers, to a new ballpark in downtown San Diego?

And…the Chargers are still talking about also moving out; leaving that stadium mostly unused, but with a terrific, light-rail station.

Maybe the seven West Central Florida counties that make up the focus of TBARTA’s Master Plan should get together with The Rays to determine the most economically advantageous location FOR EVERYONE for a new ballpark?

U.S. 41, 19 and 301 are looking pretty good, and there is lots of cheap land available. People commute on I-75, 275 and 589, but they don’t live, shop, work or go to school there.

Forget I-4, (not a true “interstate” anyway) which is only good for trips to visit The Mouse.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

Where is the 1% Tea Party now?

Posted in Politics, Second American Revolution, Tea Party with tags , , , , on January 10, 2012 by GoThere.com


Waiting for the 99% to catch on?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

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