Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tax Evasion

James Rowen writes about the reclassification of the Pabst Farms' land to an agricultural designation.

Another great example of why everyday home owners pay more in property taxes than they should. (And, another great example of how the well-connected screw us over all the time.)

This was supposedly a win-win, no-brainer development. Of course we needed highway widening, an interchange, and a mall complex. You just can't have enough of that kind of stuff.

But now that the reality has set in (after taxpayers have funded the interchange infrastructure) that we don't really need this development. The developers are now claiming it's just farmland. Which, of course, they are only doing because agricultural land is taxed at half the normal rate. And, of course, the taxing entity is allowing this tax evasion because, as we all know, we must do all we can to aid business.

This property was so dynamic that a TIF needed to be created and taxpayers had to improve the access to the site (with the interchange) of this capitalist paradise.

We keep hearing about how we - everyday workers and taxpayers - have to help business and make things easier for them. We must improve the business climate for these very smart and very serious people. We need to follow the developers, financiers, and investors orders. They know what they are doing. After all, they're disciples of the magic free market. (Free for them, but you need to fork over your tax dollars. Similar to "free" trade.)

I'm all for tax dollars trying to revitalize the most downtrodden areas of our cities and our society. Using our collective action (and dollars) to bring up the least amongst us. Instead, over the past few decades, Republicans have told us to forget about the poor. The way to live the American dream is to deregulate business, give them tax breaks, and help them pay for the costs of their business and its necessary infrastructure. (Even though they don't want to pay taxes to help pay for the infrastructure that allows their business to operate - roads, sewers, plowing, etc.)

Now we have a socialism for the rich. Or, as they like to call it, the "free" market economy. Taxpayers provide low interest loans (through bonding), TIFs, highway and interchange construction (along with the necessary sewer and electric, not to mention the added police and fire protection), parking structures, tax credits, tax breaks, grants, and a whole litany of other giveaways. And who garners the majority of the rewards? They do. Ah, but guess who gets to cover any losses? You (the taxpayer) do, silly.

The 'free-market, business-climate, anti-regulation' emperor has no clothes.

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