Jan 17, 2014
For Whom The Development Tolls
Myself, and other skeptics, have long maintained that the main beneficiaries of Allentown's NIZ are the few millionaires who will become billionaires. I do recognize that besides the few chosen developers and Pawlowski, there are citizens of good will who welcome what the mayor calls the transformation. However, some recent announcements seem to have little to no public benefit, but will cost the public in lost state taxes. The arena complex includes a new hotel facing 7th Street. The Holiday Inn at 9th and Hamilton will also be remodeled with zone tax funds. Business at that hotel has been marginal for years, and it has housed a series of taxpayer subsidized restaurants. Can minor league hockey fans support two hotels, can they support one? The Americus property at 6th and Hamilton also is seeking a $13 million dollar Authority loan for renovation. A new Butz proposal for the Farr Lot on 8th Street will soon push the Arena Authority loan portfolio close to the $Billion dollar mark. Contrary to Corbett's claim that there are no new taxes, we at the gasoline pump know better. Despite the cheerleaders for this development, all state residents will be paying for it, one way or another.