Where’s the Sunshine?

Bass Pro Shops: The Strike

Hook, line and sinker?

The draft Agenda for the Dec. 15, 2010 BOCC regular meeting has two Consent (no discussion) Items to approve giving $11,000 and $58,200 to two un-named companies recommended by the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) which is run by the local business elite.

Who’s running Hillsborough County: Voter/taxpayer/citizens or a monied cabal operating beyond public scrutiny?

Supposedly this money will help create “quality” jobs  based on Florida’s Qualified Target Industries (QTI). Please note that the QTI list specifically does NOT include hotels, restaurants or retail stores. We can only sit  on our hands, silently waiting (after the fact) to find out who these companies are and what “quality” jobs they provide. Look out for part-time, low-wage, no-benefit jobs subsidized by county taxpayers.

Economic Development
A-27 Adopt a resolution approving the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Prospect #10-058, as a Qualified Applicant to Florida’s Qualified Target Industries (QTI) Tax Refund Program, providing up to $11,000 of local financial support for a corporate expansion establishing a Hillsborough County operation that will create 11 new quality jobs.

A-28 Adopt a resolution approving the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) Prospect #10-059, as a Qualified Applicant to Florida’s Qualified Target Industries (QTI) Tax Refund Program, providing up to $58,200 of local financial support for a corporate expansion that will create 97 new quality jobs.

Could one of  these be the promised Bass Pro Shops?

While we are  watching more of our tax dollars about to go under the table to these two unknown companies, let’s take a look at another previous recipient:  Progressive Insurance. Fine people, but they are asking the BOCC for an additional three years to live up their bargain to turn tax incentives into “quality” jobs.

A-29 Approve a special waiver of the job creation and maintenance requirements of the County’s Employers’ Impact Fee Mitigation Program (the ‘Program’) to allow Progressive Insurance (‘Progressive’) an additional 3 years to adhere with such requirements at its Riverview campus.

If the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and their staffs and support departments can’t or won’t enforce compliance for these tax-eating companies, what faith do we have that  any new gifts of our tax money will get us any new and/or quality jobs?

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen

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