Jun 12, 2012

The NIZ Lawsuits

The article in Saturday's Morning Call seemed to suggest that the lawsuits against the NIZ were a big ado about nothing. Broken down into two columns, the figures showed the tax loss for each municipality for 2012's first quarter. One town, Alburtis, only lost $590 bucks. Why are these mean spirited jealous nay-sayers crippling the Transformation of Allentown over a few dollars? Mayor Pawlowski and State Senator Pat Browne hoped that the townships would come to their senses with the release of these figures. Although the total EIT captured by the NIZ for 2012 will be $2.3 million, that figure doesn't really reveal anything. The whole purpose of the zone, and especially it's size of 130 acres, is to attract businesses to relocate there. The figures presented reflect only existing businesses, in what is pretty much now considered a dead zone. If the NIZ proceeds as currently written, what will the figure be in 2015? How many of those dollars would come from existing businesses now located in Lehigh and Northampton Counties? This blog does not cover surrounding Townships, but would be surprised if the figures released reduces their apprehension.

UPDATE: An article in today's Morning Call says that the lawsuits will continue, despite release of the EIT figures. The article mentions Walnutport joined the suit, but stands to lose $265 in quarterly EIT collections, and Stockertown's quarterly amount is $370... Jay Finnigan, manager of Hanover Township, Northampton County said "They (Pawlowski and Browne) just don't get it -- it's not a matter of dollars and cents," The Morning Call doesn't get it either.

UPDATE ON UPDATE: In fairness to The  Morning  Call, and reporters Kraus and Assad, on second reading I believe I mischaracterized today's article.  The hard copy edition has Finnigan's quote standing out in a box, and the article is headlined Litigation over arena will continue.


Anonymous said...

Mike, The article does not mention if the amount reported is the total from all businesses in the N.I.Z.

Anonymous said...

See the Morning Call on-line poll question from Sunday - Monday, nearly 15,000 responses and 96% of respondents thought the Townships should still pursue the lawsuits despite the new information. This massive landslide is even more impresive when you consider the Morning Call being a liberal news source in favor of the NIZ. I'd say that despite Pawlowski's PR efforts, the public is solidly against the arena.

Think the Morning Call is unbiased? Last Wednesday they hid the Scott Walker victory on Page 12, while virtually every other paper in America featured his resounding win.

Anonymous said...

My problem with this is the exclusionary attitude taken by the author of this legislation, which resulted in the NIZ. The narrow interpretation is a certain sized city at a specific point in time is eligible, but no one else. Not all cities of the third class, which would have made this a little more palatable. Erie, Bethlehem, Altoona, Scranton Reading, the list goes on and on. Any or all of these cities, whether distessed or not, would benefit from this type of legislation. Only Allentown gets a bite of this apple. Then, to top it off, they do so at the expense of the other nearby third class cities (Bethlehem, Easton), plus, another 60 municipalities. All of whom are supposed to sign on "to save the Lehigh Valley's premier city". Like the proverbial red flag to a bull, Senator Browne, the mayor and the others were just spoiling for a fight here, in my estimation. If there were latent hostilities toward Allentown, this was sure to bring them out and to a head. This thing was poorly conceived, poorly executed and screwed up at each stage since then.

And I wish NIZ-proponents would stop comparing this proposal with the casino.


Bernie O'Hare said...

Had Allentown been more forthcoming in the very beginning, and released this information, there is little doubt in my mind that most municipalities would have let this go. Instead, city officials stonewalled, breaking several promises. Now, several months after the suit is filed, questionable information is released. One Bangor Boro council member already knows the impact information sent to his boro is short. This kind of story gets around, too, except in the newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Are suburban municipalities suspicious? Damn right, and why wouldn't they be. At exactly the time Allentown needs to be able to reach out and gain favor, they pulled a fast one (or tried to) and got caught with their hand in someone else's till. This tends to breed susspicion and invites trouble. Then, an explanation or two after the fact that in essence causes the suburbs to fall back on the "don't piss on my leg and tell me that it's raining" response.

This was mucked up badly from the start and now Allentown has to go to "Plan B". I feel sorry for the next mayor of Allentown or whoever will be chosen to clean up Ed's mess.


Anonymous said...

Its not ed persa its the ones proping this dummy up for the publics whipping post. Dig deeper than the hole in allentown to see who or what is putting this dummy out there?

ironpigpen said...

In my Constitutional Conservative world, the Government has absolutely nothing to do with the risky business of financing minor league hockey rinks.

The Brooks Brothers either come up with their own money or get some private investors to put up the money for the construction of a Palace of Sport.

Maybe instead of creating a charity with the Phantoms and generating a headline, Air Products might have given the Brooks Brothers a little help getting THEIR hockey rink built ... but, whatever.

Government created the problem known by some as Pawlowski's Big Hole on Hamilton Street. And now, only Government can fix the problem. How lovely - sort of like a Reichstag Fire.

Maybe the Brooks Brothers should have a cookout to promote the Palace of Sport --- maybe Lehigh Valley Network could score some public relations points by being so kind as to provide the hot dogs!


Anonymous said...

I support leveling all of center city Allentown, then giving all displaced persons vouchers to resettle in the Lehigh Valley Twps.
Don't redevelop the raised downtown, reestablish the Lehigh Valley Dairy and use the downtown as cow pasture.
This will not threaten Twp development and will help subsidize continued suburban sprawl while helping the very few dairy farmers left.

Anonymous said...

Ironpig 12:31
This is especially true when the cities bissiness can not be dealt with at local levels

Anonymous said...

Screening to protect Rolf, his Gov.for the people fantasy, the GOP little Gov scam, huh?

michael molovinsky said...

@5:57, your first comment wasn't printed because it's off topic, and this is not a chat room.

Anonymous said...

No one could ever have conjured up the outrageous confluence of events and ensuing insanity that have come to characterize the arena debacle in Allentown over the past year.

The lack of business acumen of the sponsors and developers of this project is amazing. Perhaps, especially, it is their lack of forthrightness, as mentioned above, that has made us all blatantly aware of the incredible level of lack of respect they have for the people of Allentown and The Lehigh Valley.

I hope the municipalities continue their actions. It is not the EIT, it is the principal of the issue. The realization that if these self indulged and narcissistic self proclaimed movers and shakers win, it is just the beginning of more grandiose and outrageous schemes in which they make money but a city and a community culture are destroyed.

ironpigpen said...

Mr. Molovinsky,

Would it be off topic to point out that Constitutional Conservatives and the Grand Old Party seem to have less and less to do with each other every day?

I might also point out that it was Senator Pat Browne, a Republican whom I would characterize as the poster boy for local RINOS, who was basically reponsible for writing and then ram-rodding the junk legislation known as the N.I.Z. through, if I am not mistaken.

The same Senator Browne whose wife generated some nifty headlines in January, that is.