Chamber Of Commerce Taking Our Tax Dollars

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The local Chamber of Commerce continues to pour public messages to convince we the people that giving local tax dollars to rich industry is somehow good for us.

 

This notion of feeding our local tax dollars to the top in a trickle down economic model of the Chamber of Commerce, masters of corporate welfare, is based in cronyism and tax exempt programs for the rich industry. Our city has never been more impoverished; with the poverty rate increasing from 16 to 25 percent during the Chamber tear mandating that we the working class and small businesses pay the rich industry list of 53 share of local taxes and services, or PILOT.   It should mean rich industrial flight from paying taxes, but it really means is  Payments In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). This fancy name, PILOT, is designated so regular working class and poor, like me, that are busy in lives don’t know what the heck it means.

 

The Chamber of Commerce and their elected buddies are robbing small business and working class people.  We should challenge this notion of the Chamber diverting our hard earned taxpayer resources from local services.

 

It is just mind boggling that the “corporate union" of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce receives $1.1 million annually of our local tax dollars to operate. Our local elected officials just won’t deny the Chamber of Commerce, a powerful organization, anything they want, including other people’s money called public resources.  The Chamber of Commerce has members, let them pay dues that are adequate to fund the Chamber of Commerce functions in the city and county. 

 

After all, at least 53 of the Chamber of Commerce largest industrial members have reduced property taxes under Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) incentive programs approved by the Chamber, prior to any public comment. Our city and county elected officials are just approved these agreements behind our backs. We learn the details, are the dirty deed is done.

 

These PILOT tax exemption are only available to big industry or business, and have no claw back provision to protect the taxpayers. If the corporate members do not create the number of jobs promised in exchange for our tax dollars, we the people are just taken the cleaners.  Why aren’t the taxpayers being protected in these bad business deals. We just get thrown under the bus, with no say in the matter, because our elected officials are cowards.

 

The Chamber of Commerce property tax abatements are only available to big business, and mandate the little guys, small business, retail, and citizens pay industry’s share of local taxes.  The corporate welfare club won't even fund their own club called, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. The taxpayers through our local elected officials gives the Chamber of Commerce $1.1 million to operate, money, that should go to the school system or blighted areas of Chattanooga.

 

Locals cannot start a business under PILOT because the Chamber of Commerce has the deal rigged for big industry corporate welfare, a small business or retail must have 50 jobs creation right out of the gate. The Chamber has just ruled out small to medium business. Then, the Chamber does not make industry getting the tax exemption guarantee job creation with claw back. What this means if industry does not create the jobs and maintain the number of jobs during the tax exemption period, they have to return the tax incentives.  Seems reasonable to me, if we give our tax dollars to a company, they must be accountable for delivering what they promised.

 

Did you know a PILOT was issued for the movie theater downtown, reduction in taxes, and the other movie theaters had to compete with the non-property paying movie theatre?

 

Also, why should the local taxes I pay go to the Chamber of Commerce organization, $1.1 million dollars annually of local tax dollars. At least, the local unions pay their own way.

 

I have not even started on the $9 million TIF, we the people, were forced to hand off to a group of rich developers for their Aetna Mtn. Road. 

 

When we the people say, “NO” to our local city and county governments and elected officials continuing to give local tax dollars to their cronies, and to the Chamber of Commerce, this will stop.  Until then, go back to sleep, while the Chamber of Commerce and their buddies continue to rob us.

 

"Local incentives are offered by the Chattanooga and Hamilton County governments in the form of a payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) program for new & expanding businesses. This incentive allows qualified businesses to substantially reduce their local real and/or personal property taxes for new investments in real and personal property. Typically, projects must have an investment value of at least $5 million in new real and personal property and create 50 or more new jobs with wages equal to or greater than the average wage in Hamilton County as reported by the U. S. Department of Labor.

 

Once a client is able to share information on the type of project, proposed capital investment, new jobs, and payroll, the Chattanooga Chamber can readily provide a preliminary commitment with regard to tax abatement and land cost. The city and county are prepared to offer some form of tax abatement in combination with a competitive land cost for manufacturing companies interested in locating in Chattanooga.” 

April Eidson



Roy Exum: I Am Very Privileged

A California professor who teaches sociology at San Diego State told her students she would give each extra credit if they would participate in a “White Privilege Checklist” the other day. Understand, there is no pass or fail but, the more of the 20 statements you agree with, reveals you are “more guilty” of being white and therefore more “privileged” than those who are not. ... (click for more)

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to  news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone number. We do not post the contact information, but need it for verification. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more ... (click for more)

Witness Says Morse Told Him "His Emotions Got The Best Of Him" At Triple Killing In Lookout Valley

A witness told a Criminal Court jury on Friday that Derek Morse told him "his emotions got the best of him" at a triple killing in Lookout Valley. Michael Shavers also said Morse told him in detail about the slayings of John "Jake" Lang, Jon Morris and Caleb Boozer and the shooting of Matthew Callan at the Rolling Hills Trailer Park on April 9, 2014. Morse is standing trial ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Calls For "Meaningful Punishment" For Dyer, Brennan In $4.9 Million Swindle

Federal prosecutor James Brooks is calling for a "meaningful sentence" for Doug Dyer and James Brennan, who are charged in a $4.9 million swindle. He rejected arguments that they should receive leniency due to their age and health problems. They are set to be sentenced next Friday at 9 a.m. by Judge Travis McDonough. Prosecutor Brooks said concerning Dyer, "As this Court ... (click for more)

Trojans Score 32 Third-Quarter Points To Crush Owls 42-21

Soddy-Daisy, held to a field goal in the first half, destroyed Ooltewah with a 32-point third quarter Friday night at Robert Talaska Stadium and went on to hand the Owls a crushing 42-21 non-region loss. The shocking turnaround enabled the Trojans (4-2) to snap a six-game losing streak to Ooltewah and enjoy homecoming festivities on the same night. Soddy-Daisy had won just ... (click for more)

Baylor Wins Big Over CCS 42-8

Baylor's Mike Benning rushed seven times for 104 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Red Raiders to a 42-8 win over CCS on Friday.  Baylor scored 21 points in the first quarter and 14 in the second to take a 35 point lead into the third quarter.   Benning rushed for touchdowns of 48 yards and two for four yards.  Baylor quarterback Lorenzo White ... (click for more)