I was disappointed, but not surprised, when Pat Browne moved his long time Allentown center city office into a new J. B. Reilly office tower. The debt service on those office towers are met with our diverted state taxes, enabled by Browne's boutique NIZ legislation.
I am disappointed, but not surprised that new Pa. Senator Nick Miller has taken over the same space in Reilly's building.
When constituents visit the office for help, they have already lost, before they enter the door. Their state taxes, which were going to infrastructure and children's health insurance, now go to Miller's landlord.
It didn't take Reilly long to train Miller. I'm sure Miller will be offended by this post, but he needn't worry, apparently nobody else but me cares about such things.
In a different era, our now overpriced Morning Call would ask State Senator Nick Miller “Welcome to our NIZ, but a couple of questions, first. “How many new, meaning ADDITIONAL, tax dollars have come to Pennsylvania as a result of our citizen investments in all these new buildings?”ReplyDelete
In others words, “Are we financially better off as a State now that the NIZ has been in operation for so long . . . compared to the same period, had there been no NIZ all along?”
JB was a contributor to Nick Miller, he will now be JB's tool in Harrisburg. That's how it works...right? Meanwhile newly elected state senator Jarrod Coleman should request the state auditor general take a good hard look at where the NIZ money is going. Coleman has nothing to lose doing this and would be viewed as a hero by the rest of the state which is subsidizing Pat Browne's black hole and enriching a special few.ReplyDelete
What disturbs me most, this underperforming “investment” has been allowed to continue on. After just a few years since inception, the special district was obviously not working out as envisioned. Additional tax revenue to Pennsylvania was not being generated because of this plan. Quite the opposite was happening. Had the whole thing been evaluated after a 5 year trial, It could have been discontinued.ReplyDelete
I agree with the commenters that there has been no gain for Pa. taxpayers, quite the contrary. All the businesses have been poached from surrounding office parks, creating a loss of taxes for the state. BUT, IMO that is no surprise. Reilly doesn't have to worry about occupancy...there appears to be little scrutiny of the commercial/residential proration of taxes, as originally proposed for the NIZ. The law itself seems to have been amended as needed, now with the state hospital parcel thrown in.ReplyDelete
Perhaps it was the ultimate incumbent back scratching. As long as we keep electing both Republicans and Democrats over and over with no term limits, we get these private pork deals. This one is just over the top for the record book.
I attended a Nick Miller and Dean Browning debate and this guy did not impress me at all. He is too young, inexperienced and vulnerable to unquestioning and complete loyalty to his party over his constituents. He'll follow orders from the party and donors without question.ReplyDelete
You nailed it. I was at that debate, the League of Women Voters might as well be renamed as the League of angry Left Wing Women. The debate was grotesquely unfair but in spite of that Dean looked sharp while Nick gave pat answers. The local Democrats aren't looking for candidates with integrity, far from it, that is the last thing they want. Team players who will do as they are told is a prerequisite for anyone Democrat seeking local office. Nick, young, ambitious, fits that to a tee.Delete
Sadly, this guy is not impressive. I think anyone who ran on the democratic ticket would have won because the republican candidate (Browning) was so obviously insincere and just running for any office. Miller is ambitious and his family is connected, and now he's one of two of Reilly's men in Harrisburg. I hope he doesn't get to stay there.ReplyDelete
anon@5:15: Besides Miller making a poor choice of office space, it's too early for me to have an impression of him. Local voting tradition, and the tax handouts they're set up with to make them appear as white knights, suggests that Mr. Miller will be there a long time.ReplyDelete
The local Republicans do seem to be using a small cast of candidates, over and over, for elections. I think they have to expand their candidate bench to be competitive.