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Tax Breaks Continued… October 24, 2006

Posted by j-dub in Local, Politics.

Read this article to get updated…Also, here is my previous post on this topic.

Let me give you a quick rundown. Last month, our County Board voted to not grant an enterprise zone to the Clearview Project out by the I-57/I-74 interchange. This is important because Christie, Carle, as well as other businesses, are looking to build in this area. The tax abatement will last for five years.

The Board changed their tune this month. They decided to grant the tax break this month.

County Democrats called attention to the practices of Christie and Carle. Most notably, the fact that they don’t take uninsured patients, etc.

Maybe the County Dems think it makes sense to not allow the break because you don’t agree with the business practices, but I don’t like that approach. I think it makes sense to not grant the tax break by determining whether or not this is a location worthy of an enterprise zone label. Honestly, that would be the more legal approach in my mind.

So let’s say you take the County Dems approach, and you really, truly care about the health care practices of these two businesses. Why not make a deal? Tell Christie and Carle that you’ll grant the enterprise zone if you hit certain “target” numbers for uninsured, medicaid/medicare patients, etc. If they don’t hit the numbers, they pay the county back…with interest even.

I don’t think that is too difficult, but maybe it would be. Maybe you’d have a hell of time monitoring that, but I wouldn’t think so. If they can monitor it, and point out the shortcomings of the two businesses; surely they could monitor the increase/decrease as well.

My conclusion is this. Obviously the County Dems threw out every possible reason to not grant the zone: they didn’t want to choose sides between Christie,Carle, & Provena, the zone didn’t classify (but the Ethanol plant not far away did), we don’t like the way Christie/Carle do business, etc. And in the end, they didn’t get any sticking points on either of those issues. So what was the point? Did you really mean any of it? I also wonder if all the Union folks, who usually donate lots of $ to Dem campaigns, who showed at the meeting had any kind of influence on the vote? I’m guessing that MIGHT have had a slight effect on just enough Dems.

In the end, the Board got the vote right; it only took two months and two tries.

I just wish everyone would cut the crap and things would get done a lot sooner and smoother.



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