Sunday, June 28, 2015

Allentown Cannibalizing Itself?

PPL Plaza could become Allentown's white elephant
By Scott Kraus | The Morning Call (June 27, 2015)
"It is now evident to us that the commonwealth and the city have overlooked the serious financial impact that passage of the NIZ legislation and development of the NIZ has had on the company and on its ability to continue to own and operate PPL Plaza," said Barry Pincus, a spokesman for the owner.

My Comments About The Article Above
That giant sucking sound you hear are taxpayers' dollars going down the drain. It looks like taxpayers aren't the only ones. This could have been avoided when the NIZ was created if the only taxes that could be deferred were on NEW BUSINESSES COMING IN FROM OUTSIDE OF PENNSYLVANIA. I'm far from a financial wizard, but I and a number other critics figured this out years ago and tried to warn people. This is one of those deals where we who questioned the NIZ were labeled as a bunch of naysayers and curmudgeons.

Which Would We Rather?
Require new developers poach from other states?
Instead neighboring Pennsylvania communities, cities and towns. Even others areas of Allentown itself apparently?

Indeed development would have been greatly delayed until developers could somehow find out of state businesses to come in. It's true we wouldn't see the number of new buildings currently in the NIZ for certain. Then on the other hand this whole thing is turning out to be nothing more then rearranging the deck chairs at taxpayers expense. Instead of seeing a net gain on overall tax revenues as promised we're just beginning to see through the emperor's new clothes. Not exactly the kind of transparency we might have hoped for, eh?

So far we are hearing how much tax revenue is being generated going back to the state. What we don't have is a full accounting offsetting those against the entire spectrum of loses. Say like those from the tobacco, liquor & fuels businesses that relocated to the NIZ. Nor the losses associated with business building owners (who pay taxes based on their income) who's buildings may now be empty or forced to reduce their rents. It's also likely they'll file for property tax reductions on them because of these conditions. Thus further lowering overall tax revenues outside the NIZ on multiple levels.

Yes Allentown may come out ahead on this deal, but not without taking someone else's share of the pie from them to do it. Looks like it'll be left up to those who lost their business tenants to try and seek out other businesses from across the border. Good luck with that having to unfairly compete with the NIZ. Shouldn't the burden to find them have been on the NIZ developers in the first place? Too late now!

On behalf of my fellow curmudgeons there's only one thing left to say, although I don't feel good about it .
It ain't like we didn't try warning ya'!

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