Calling -1-800-Helen-Burns-Sharp - And Response

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024

I need to hear from the ultimate expert on TIF and PILOT regarding the stadium project. Helen is the only expert without bias.

After reviewing the campaign financial disclosures of the people charged with voting on the project, I need to hear Helen say the stadium deal is good for the people.

There is intentional language to convey acronym talk to intimidate the masses. The use of the term PILOT, payments in lieu of taxes, or TIF, tax incremental financing are not too complex for the public that is adversely impacted by PILOT and TIF locally. It’s the public’s money.

PILOT means the rich corporation will not pay their share of local property taxes, with the exception of the public school potion. TIF is another diversion of property taxes to private bank accounts where the rich corporation will receive the property tax generated from there land improvements to repay capital investment.

Real commerce does not need taxpayer funded corporate welfare.

Either way, we are all getting a property tax increase to pay the developers share of municipal services, fire, police, public works for example.

Then, the rich corporations get funding in loans from the local municipalities available capacity to issue bonds. Contrary to popular belief, bond issues are a loan payment responsibility of the public. The bond issues to developers are more concerning than the PILOT or TIF.

Essentially, our government is borrowing money to fund the development, assuming the project with generate adequate funding to make the payments. I call these revenue assumptions pure risk.

The bond issues are where I get concerned.

If these developers gain loans using the taxpayer’s ability to access the bond rating with low interest rates, what if the developers default on payments? The public has a right to know.

Are the taxpayers responsible if the developers default hiding behind LLC?

Also, does loaning the stadium developers money on our local municipal bond loan reduce the public’s ability to get bond issues for schools and roads?

It is starting to get creepy reading this stadium deal. If the stadium repayment to the public is only popcorn job creation and sales tax payments, more public review and hearings are needed.

Have there been hearings where the public can ask questions without a timer on them?

Let’s take lessons from the failures of the city of East Ridge banking on their own PILOT and TIF deals failing to return anticipated sales tax. The elected hear way too many windfall fairy tales from these developers.

These local governments need to stop playing risk with public bond issues, and property tax exemptions for rich corporations. Quit kissing up to these developers promising big money public benefits that never financially materialize.

Helen, tell us what you think.

Be blessed y’all.

April Eidson

* * * 

April Eidson makes some great points. Why not tap Helen Burns Sharp to evaluate the situation? She'll honestly and impartially explain whether this is a fair contract or not. She's an expert. 

Joey Blevins

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