Mar 20, 2009

School Board Teaches Mayor

Those of us tired of municipal shenanigans and special considerations, owe the Easton School Board a salute; Last night they told Retread Mayor Panto they wouldn't approve his new KOZ designations.* Panto, in a typical mayor 101 retort, accused them of being suburbanites not supporting the inner city. The board wisely observed that tax abatement passes on the cost to the other tax payers, even though the Retread had referred to his proposal as crucial to the economic viability of Easton. Mayor Nutter of Philadelphia has proposed a 19% tax increase in the city of brotherly love. In these tough times, as homeowners must tighten their belts and go without, why should they have to subsidize a mayor's field of dreams? Now there's a thought for Allentown's new panel of 17 experts.

* http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-b5_3easd.6825384mar20,0,6888080.story

6 comments:

Joe Hilliard said...

Mike,

KOZ's have become another form of political favors (Pay to Play) and corporate welfare, and benefit the few at the expense of the many.

These Mayors (Panto, Pawlowski, others) need to FIX their cities so businesses WANT to set up shop.

But that requires focused effort and results instead of handing out favoritism for some good PR.

Anonymous said...

Joe and MM, KOZs, when properly used, have a role in economic development. It's the misuse of KOZs that creates the problems you're citing.

The Banker

michael molovinsky said...

banker, i agree with you in theory, originally intended to bring jobs to inter-city and brownfields. here in allentown, they have been bastardized to the point of being used for residential housing and as contractor selling advantage. pawlowski's riverfront idea sounds nice, but when one thinks about how long it took for the transportation museum to materialize, now is not the time to burden homeowners with additional taxation to make-up for KOZ incentives.

Anonymous said...

Agreed MM - Allentown is a poster child for KOZ abuse.

The Banker

Anonymous said...

MM -

Let me make a bold prediction:

The new KOZ's in Allentown - with tax abatements until 2020 - will easily pass City Council. There will be no demands to review the results of the previous rounds of KOZ's, and the rubber stamps will be ready.

If the School Board has not yet signed on, there will be enough votes there as well.

Single party government is working well in Allentown, as long as you don't actually look at how things turn out.

Anonymous said...

Jack Kemp wouldn't recognize the bastardization of his Enterprise Zone concept. Intended to help blighted, dead-end parts of American cities we recently saw local government offer part of Stabler Center in Center Valley as a KOZ to vaccine maker Sanifi.