A tax break that will pay off for only a few

When did the Tampa Tribune start publishing press releases from local politicos as “OUR OPINION” on the Editorial page? How else to explain: A tax break that WILL (my emphasis) pay off? If this piece is in fact your opinion, what critical thinking went into it? Why is this a “sensible plan?” What experiences have the twenty-five Florida counties had with similar plans? How is a case-by-case determination the best use of County staff and BOCC time? At least you recognize the need for strict criteria for eligibility. Your suggestion that new projects be located in the Urban Services Area (USA) is already DOA (dead on arrival) given Hagan’s push to open up rural lands along I-4. 

According to Hagan and his Planning Dept. minions, this plan will not have any negative impact on the County budget. “But for” this new county property tax abatement, they say, none of the businesses will otherwise have come to Hillsborough or existing business expanded. This makes sense ONLY if you believe that NONE of the incentives already in the “tool box” are working and NO new or expanded business came, or will otherwise come to the county.

Is there a chart showing which businesses created new jobs in the County as a result of incentives over the past 2 1/2 years; what those incentives cost and the net benefit to taxpayers? IF (a mighty big if) this new tax abatement passes, will there be any accountability as to who gets what; what it costs and the net benefit to taxpayers? No? I didn’t think so.


<IMHO> Fred Jaacobsen


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