Jan 4, 2011
Bluffing Bethlehem School Board
Bethlehem's Mayor John Callahan is trying to persuade the School Board to reconsider a tax incentive for Martin Tower that they had recently rejected. Without the tax break, Callahan suggests the developer will build affordable housing, instead of an upscale Shangri-La previously presented. More children will burden the school system, instead of the well heeled patronizing Main Street. The new plan is exactly what the developers would have built in the first place, with or without the tax increment financing. The property is too large, and the demand too small, for high end. The original total TIF request was less than 5% of the project cost. The developer is being more honest than the Mayor; He said that the new plans reflect the market conditions. The School Board only rejected the original plan two months ago, the market conditions has not changed since then. Although it was appropriate for Callahan to encourage the development of the Tower in the first place, he's now just shilling for a developer.
source article by Esack, Assad and Radzievich