City Crimes

Many communities today offer tax abatements, low interest loans, cheap land, buildings and equipment to firms who will hopefully employ its population base. The practice has become virtually universal and is now necessary just to be competitive.

There is; however, another nomenclature which applies to the concept of Community Development. It starts with extortion and ends with bribery.

City government must use the force of law to extract, at gunpoint if necessary, sufficient funds from its taxpayers to reimburse the city treasury for the cost of prospecting for businesses, selling public land and buildings at prices below fair market value, underwriting low interest loans and to make up for the shortfalls in property taxes caused by tax abatements. Property and sales taxes are increased for the rest of us who are obviously not seen by government as being of equal value.

On the other side of this extortion, we have bribery. The communities which offer the best bribes generally attract the most companies. Reduced costs and taxes go directly to the bottom line of any business which benefits from them. If it were not legal for cities to offer incentives at the expense of their taxpayers, businesses would still have to find suitable locations but they would select their sites on the basis of free market forces instead of government largess.

Individuals who raise their families, pay their taxes and conduct themselves responsibly are, in my view, of equal or greater import to the community. Why are we not entitled to equivalent largess from the city?

When government rakes half of all lottery proceeds off the top and dangles the remainder in hopes of appealing to the greed of its citizens, it is not only legal, it is touted as good government. When an individual takes a twenty percent cut off the top of a football pool, it is a crime and he is sent to jail. When government commits extortion and bribery under the pretense of benefit to the community, it is not only legal, but it has its own department called Community Development. If an individual were to do the same, he would be given free room and board by the state for an extended period of time.

The fact that virtually all communities do it does not make it right, it only makes it organized crime.

Jack McNally

WIN a FREE Country