In yesterday's post, we discuss David Jaindl being nominated to the Regional Planning Board, despite having some history of circumventing local zoning. As the largest land owner in the valley, he is essentially being invited to write the rules which will govern him. We are also watching Allentown's NIZ Baron, J.B. Reilly, write his own rules. Reillytown was created by Pat Browne, with a unique scheme allowing public state taxes to pay for Reilly's privately owned building. Any loose end was exploited by Reilly, such as even the cigarette tax going to his debt service. All along, the enablers were saying that although it's a golden goose for Reilly, the public will benefit from the increased tax base. We now learn that Reilly is appealing his assessments, greatly reducing the public benefit. His brand new buildings, paid for by the public, will pay less tax because that scheme allows him to charge less rent and show less income. Missing from that argument is that the public must make up that state tax shortfall through higher taxes and fees, and other municipalities have lost the tenants and taxes now occupying Reilly's buildings. Meanwhile, back at this circus of public exploitation, our local leaders have a cat eating mouse grin, explaining these calamities to the public. Pawlowski says that Allentown will benefit from a settlement with Reilly. There was never any mention of assessment settlements two years ago, when Pawlowski was cutting the ribbons and running for governor. County Executive Tom Muller supports Jaindl's nomination. There was nothing about that in his State Of The County report.
There really is nothing new with these shenanigans. Today, we worship Harry Trexler and call him General. Back in his day, he was the largest land owner and developer by far. Cedar Park was actually created to enhance his west end real estate developments, on both sides of Hamilton Street. Although there was no scrutiny back then by local bloggers, I suppose that there was some dissent. Will our great grandchildren call Reilly and Jaindl generals, and picnic by their statues?