Friday, December 02, 2011
I Repeat, Allentown NID Will Deprive State of Needed Revenue
In response to my Allentown NID story yesterday, Geeting first popped on my blog to call me stupid. I have to agree with him on that point. But then he goes one step further with a screed attempting to discredit me.
Geeting somehow buys into the fact that the Allentown NIZ will "only" cost the state treasury $10 million per year. Truth is no one knows what it will cost until the tax returns are filed in 2012 - and that's just the baseline. As development takes place, more of that state tax pie will get eaten by the Brooks Group and J. B. Reilly. Jon acts like the "sequestered" state tax dollars are going to start flowing back into the state treasury in 5 years or so. How about 30 years? By then we aren't going to be talking about forgoing a few shekels, but more like a few hundred million dollars. Regardless of how bad things get, they are still dollars.
Geeting also attempts to compare the Allentown NID with the Chrin TIF. Not even close. Under the TIF, local taxing authorities will still be getting the same revenue they are getting now, and Chrin is assuming all the risk of failure. The NID is a completely different animal that will suck local and state tax dollars for who knows how many years from 130 acres in downtown Allentown.
As for Geeting's notion that density will increase in Downtown Allentown, it will do so only for new development owned by J. B. Reilly or the Brooks Group or any other "select" developers. While the NIZ does provide for dollars that could be used to offset new development costs in the zone, the rules for their use, as Michael Molovinsky so aptly pointed out in his commentary, were only revealed after the "yellow peril" retailers were displaced. Besides, if you really read the rules and guidelines, the ACIDA - or perhaps the new "super" authority being created - can be quite arbitrary in their dispensing of NIZ dollars. ACIDA, incidentally, is the same authority that approved the lease with the Brooks Group for the Arena without even bothering to see it.
If it weren't so sad, I would laugh.
Geeting hates to be wrong nor does he ever admit that someone can have an idea that counters some of his silly notions on economic development, urban development, city planning, etc. But in the final analysis, it is pseudo-intellectual babble.
So I may be dumb, but he's dumber.