Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Geeting's Urban Dream: Nightmare on Hamilton Street

"Earn it here, keep it here."
NYC Blogger Jonathan Geeting, who considers himself an expert on ... well ... everything, has yet another great idea.

Ready?

His "liberal" (so he says) position is that the municipality where you work should be allowed to keep your EIT. That's why Allentown's NIZ tax grab is no biggie. It's an "earn it here, keep it here" approach to EIT, to borrow the phrase of this beacon of light from the Big Apple.

It's very progressive, he claims.

OK, let's have it Geeting's way.

Guess what? LV Hospital Center, the area's biggest employer, happens to be located in Salisbury Township. Under the Geeting grab, Salisbury will keep all EIT on wages at LVHC. A nice little windfall, to be sure.

It gets better. St. Luke's, the Lehigh Valley's second biggest employer, would send all its EIT to Fountain Hill. That tiny borough would never have to worry again about blowing its road salt budget.

And so on down the line. The Guardian Life Insurance Co., T-Mobile, Amazon, Northampton Community College and Lehigh Carbon Community College - all of them top Lehigh Valley employers - are located in the 'burbs.

With all this Geeting dough, Salisbury and other Townships could lower their EIT. They might even be able to eliminate property taxes. This, of course, would attract even more businesses to the 'burbs, right? Voila!

You think their public schools are Taj Mahals now? What kids are left could probably be taken to school by limo.

Of course, most of the townships have lots of available land, just waiting to be be developed. If they got to keep every nickel of the EIT, they'd go after businesses with a passion. They'd also make less land available for residential (since those residents working elsewhere would not be a source of EIT). They'd happily encourage folk to work in their township, but live somewhere else.

Like Allentown.

Geeting would then have his dense, urban centers - full of residents. But they'd be devoid of employers, except for the occasional "delicious " Latino food vendor!  He'd also have the townships full of employers, but with fewer residents. Before long, all the jobs would be in the outlying townships; the homes in the cities. Allentown would be a ghost town during the day, except for the occasional drive by shooting.

Oh, and what to do with pensioners? Put 'em all on an iceberg.

There's Geeting's urban dream, reduced to its logical conclusion.

Very "progressive," don't you think?

What Geeting is really saying is you earn it here (in the City), we keep it. You earn it there (the 'burbs), we keep it.

58 comments:

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

FIXED:


Nazareth Blogger Bernie O’Hare, who considers himself an expert on ... well ... everything, has yet another great idea.

Ready?

His "conservative" position is that the municipality where you work should be allowed to return your EIT. That's why Allentown's NIZ tax grab is nothing. It's an “earn it there; keep it where I live" approach to EIT, to borrow the phrase of this beacon of light from the Nazareth.

It's very conservative, he claims.

OK, let's have it O’Hare’s way.

Guess what? LV Hospital Center, the area's biggest employer who happens to have at location in Allentown(17th and Chew) with the prospect to move to an area within the NIZ.

It gets better. St. Luke's, the Lehigh Valley's second biggest employer, would send some of it EIT to its large complex at 17th and Hamilton St in Allentown.
And so on down the line. T-Mobile, Lehigh Carbon Community College (Located within the NIZ) - all of them top Lehigh Valley employers – all have locations within Allentown.

With all this O’Hare dough, Salisbury and other Townships would increase their EIT. They might even be able to increase property taxes. This, of course, would attract even more businesses to the downtown right? Voila!

You think their public schools are Taj Mahals now? What kids are left could probably be taken to school by limo.

Of course, most of the townships have lots of available land, just waiting to be developed by farmers. If they got to keep every nickel of the EIT, they'd go after farming with a passion. They'd also make less land available for development. They'd happily encourage folks to work on other farms since they will receive more dollars.

Like Macungie

O’hare would then have his rural, agricultural centers - full of farmers. But they'd be devoid of farm hands, except for the occasional "delicious " PA Dutch food vendor! He'd also have the city that lack employers, but is with less residents. Before long, all the jobs who would have been in the cities; would be n the suburbs. Allentown would be a boom town during the day, except for the occasional drive by ice cream truck.

Oh, and what to do with pensioners? Pay what they are due even though that is not affordable..

There's O’Hare’s suburban dream, reduced to its logical conclusion.

Very "liberal" don't you think?

What O’Hare is really saying is you earn it here (in the suburbs), we keep it. You earn it there (the city), we keep it.

Anonymous said...

that's... well that's actually pretty funny, FDAA.

Anonymous said...

Funny how Geeting ignores the unethical approach utilized for the arena funding.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious and well done @ 4:53. Didn't Bernie just say he doesn't like when people get personal yesterday and then he goes and blasts Geeting at every opportunity?

Anonymous said...

Ethics? We don't need no stinking Ethics around here!

Jon Geeting said...

Thanks for all the traffic.

If you bothered to read to the bottom of my post, you'll see that my argument is that "earn it here, keep it here" made *more* sense than the post-1965 system, but ultimately it makes the *most* sense to have a county-wide tax base.

That way different areas of the county wouldn't be pointlessly competing for employers.

Anonymous said...

This is a major expanation of why taxes need to be diversified. A mix of real estate, earned income, income and sales taxes helps equalize the proportional burden and minimizes the impact of business cycles.Relying on just one or two tax generators causes bad allocations and volitility.

Anonymous said...

Well, WHATEVER What-Am-I-Getting-From-Big-Government? says ...

... I still ain't never buying no stinkin' ice hockey tickets.

NED BRADEN

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the cowardly FDAA to answer a direct question about lost school tax revenue over at http://www.goironpigs.com ...

REGGIE DUNLOP

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad we don't have a penny of OUR money invested in this whole PALACE of SPORT thing.

So, if the Lehigh Valley does not respond at the box office in the way that profits us best ...

... we can just pick up and split in the middle of the night. Just like the Baltimore Colts. We love free money from Big Government.

BROOKS BROTHERS

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

"Brooks" is actually right. Any money the Phantoms provide will also be "other people's money." The city made sure of that when it awarded building naming and signage revenue to them.

Since no one really understands how the NIZ will work in practice, I ask the following.

Do all the usual local taxes withheld from businesses and their employees within the zone (i.e. the Phantoms, the players, the other contractors within the complex) now go JUST to pay off the bonds? Who, then, covers the additional drain on city services that comes with adding 5-8 thousand people downtown 75 times per year?

Also enjoying the Morning Call's heightened efforts this week to positively spin, rather than analyze, the math behind this endeavor.

Oh, one more thing, the O'Reilly building. Because it is to be financed heavily by taxpayer money, does it remain privately owned? Can O'Reilly sell the whole thing 5 years later at a profit and keep the entire gain?

Just trying to understand.

michael molovinsky said...

dear retired teacher, you are way too curious. please appreciate that even our city councilman didn't burden the transformation of allentown with such burdensome questions.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Didn't Bernie just say he doesn't like when people get personal yesterday and then he goes and blasts Geeting at every opportunity?"

Oh I can give it back to assholes who get personal. But in Geeting's case, I am responding to a very stupid argument, not him.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD Teacher,

Hopefully!!!

Sincerely,

J.B. REILLY

Bernie O'Hare said...

Future Downtown Arena Attendee, aka Vaughn Associates, or is it Sarah Hailstone?

Now we know, thanks to your brilliant comment, is that the scheme here is to poach top LV employers to the NIZ. That's the brilliant philosophy behind the NIZ. It's not enough to steal EIT. You have to steal the businesses, too, with the lure of cheaper rents bc you are being subsidized.

But even with that lure you will fall on your face for three reasons:

1) The artificial tax break will eventually dry up, The NIZ will not be here forever.

2) Access. It's not easy to get to downtown A-town from major highways, even if its a little cheaper. This is why developers like Pettrucci have stayed away.

3) It's still a hell-hole. Putting lipstick on a pig does not change the fact that it's still a pig. There are few employers who are willing to expose their employees, or themselves, to a crime-infested city with inadequate crime protection, run by a Mayor who will be macing them for campaign contributions at every turn.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mr. Geeting, It's very difficult to read to the bottom of any of your posts. But your argument is your argument. You specifically endorsed a "earn it here, keep it here" approach, and that's just plain ridiculous, as my post demonstrates. It would spell the death of Allentown and the other urban cores you pretend to love so much.

Anonymous said...

What Geeting wants to work toward is not even the county level - he wants taxes distributed at no less than the state level (and preferably the federal level), so that the enlightened dear leaders of the radical left can make decisions without pesky input from the unwashed masses.

Liberals hate representation, they want sheep.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

"dear retired teacher, you are way too curious. please appreciate that even our city councilman didn't burden the transformation of allentown with such burdensome questions."

Molovinsky,

They are not your city councilmen, you dont live in Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

FDAA-

They're not my council people either, BUT they are about to spend money that was intended for MY own little NIZ.

P.S.

The Brooks brothers don't live in Allentown either. Do you discount what they say?

Bernie O'Hare said...

FutureDowntownAllentownAttendee, or is it Vaughn Associates, r is it Sara Hailstone???

Molovinsky grew up in Allentown, did business there and still has numerous properties there. He knows the businesses and the people who work there. His ties are deeper than those of someone wh is being paid to smear all attempts to question the NIZ or the theft of EIT. His ties are deeper than some Scranton transplant.

You have still failed to identify yourself, yet you cast ad hominems.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Why shouldn't we all be concerned about attempts to divert our EIT? They take our money and then claim we have no right to bitch bc we don't physically live there? Where the hell does FDAA live? Who is paying her?

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Unlike Molovinsky and quite frankly you Bernie, I am able to vote in Allentown. Because I live here.

You can claim all you want that I am a hired gun... it just makes you look stupid.

Anonymous said...

Geographic wise - the Allentown City Council come generally from the same part of town --- 4 from the 17th Ward ( One of these live in the Parkland S.D) ... One from the 11th Ward ... One from the 12th Ward (actually the easternmost Councilperson) and one from the westernest part of the 19th Ward. The easternest part of the city --- East Allentown (AKA as the Borough of Albeth-Rittersvile has no residential representative on Council and has no stake in the Arena NIZ district. What this section ought to do presently is to declare itself a non-government observer agency and operate as a non-voting 8th member of Council. Also declaring itself a Borough and the 2nd Neigborhood Improvement Zone within in the City of Allentown.

Just like West Bethlehem which before the City Council of bethlehem declared itself within that City an orphan, East Allentown is an orphan of Allentown.

Anonymous said...

"You can claim all you want that I am a hired gun... it just makes you look stupid"

No the nom de commenter:
"FutureDowntownArenaAttendee" makes you look stupid.

Of course, everything you type after it also helps.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

anon @12:59

You have to be Dennis Pearson. I mostly can tell by your horrible grammar and bat shit crazy ideas about east Allentown.

Anonymous said...

Why should the cities be "saved"?

Simply for nostalgia? Or because it's our current county seat? Why don't we have the same intensity for saving the Slate Belt? Coplay? Sending an exploratory mission to Chapman?

It's probably cheaper to move the county seat than it is to build an arena in hopes it somehow improves it.

Nothing changes in Allentown until you improve the demographics and grow a new middle class in the city...and that's the 800lb elephant nobody wants to talk about.

An arena does what it did for Reading. Reading has a very nice arena but is the Queen of Poverty in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Now THAT's funny!

FDAA using the term "bat shit crazy".

What is the old expression, "takes one to know one"?

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

FDAA-

You don't endear yourself, nor your views, to anyone when you make personal attacks.

Look, I admire your unbridled confidence in the arena project. Good for you!

My experience tells me, the benefits of the project will not come anywhere near justifying the taxpayer expense. We shall see.

But that's on you! At least it should be. Keep away from my township as a revenue source. We have our own plans for those funds.

If Friday's meeting leads to a plan that does NOT include funds intended for other municipalities, I'll be OK with what your city leaders are doing to/for its citizens.

Enjoy!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sarah I mean Vaughn Associates, i mean FDAA,

There you go again. You attack one of my readers for posting anonymously, assuming that it is Dennis, but do not identify yourself. You call his ideas "bat shit crazy." Would you mind telling me which of his ideas are "bat shit crazy?" Actually, most of Dennis' ideas are fairly mainstream and well-considered. His presentation, like yours, could use some work.

How much are you getting paid to shill for Reilly? Or is it part of your job description?

Why would your IP show you on this blog for 23 hours straight? Sure seems like someone is paying you to monitor the Internet.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Bernie,

Ms. Hailstone spells her first name "Sara", not "Sarah".

Bernie O'Hare said...

You would know, wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

As an independent reader, I am going to say that accusing someone of being a corporate shill does sound absolutely insane unless you have some proof. The onus isn't on FDAA to prove s/he isn't a shill, its on you guys to prove your accusation. So, where's the beef? And the normal conjecture you throw around here isn't good enough. Let's connect up FDAAs IP addresses to Rilley's bat-cave or show some "slip up" of FDAA where s/he showed his/her identity and you can use that to track FDAA back to a corporation. Otherwise, this is just sad.

Anonymous said...

"You would know, wouldn't you?"
Is this really a bad detective novel now?

michael molovinsky said...

ms. future, i'm amused at the criticism that i don't live or vote in allentown. unfortunately, allentown's biggest problems come from some of the people who do live there. residency is no guarantee of responsible citizenship. for a town that elected an 89 year old, that hasn't attended one meeting, perhaps voting also isn't that indicative of enlightenment. i am proud of my contributions to allentown. i suspect my heartfelt concern for the city is deeper than even many of our elected and appointed officials. i notice that although you remain future attendee on this blog, you now comment under the name of native allentonian at the morning call. i sincerely doubt that you are a native allentonian, or you would have more appreciation for dennis pearson, myself and others. i suspect bernie has your identity correct.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"As an independent reader, I am going to say that accusing someone of being a corporate shill does sound absolutely insane unless you have some proof."

She engages in personal attacks w/o identifying herself, which makes her wide open as a target for me. i have no respect for that. A few years ago, I caught AT%T posing as a grass roots blogger here. That story made its way to NPR.

As for proof, let's consider the following:

(1) She never comments about any other topic.

(2) She identifies herself as a she.

(3) We know Vaughn has been hired to do publicity for the arena.

(4) She was at the City Council meeting in which I asked them to table the NIZ Board vote, and seemed to be acutely aware of what I was wearing, right down to the show brand. Kinda' like the fashionista who now is employed as Allentown's DCED Director, and who was also at that meeting.

When she attacks people anonymously, and does so persistently, I believe I have an obligation to out her if I can. I now have her IP and her ISP, so it's only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what you have given me isn't evidence that is strong enough. Would you go into court with that? I hope not, a judge would laugh you out the door. If you do connect up the IP stuff that's good. But, until that happens, I think it is good manners not to defame people (even avatars) without sufficient proof.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This is not a court, but a blog. I do not know FDAA, but do know she is not the ordinary citizen. She attends meetings and betrays knowledge of the inner workings of the city. It is clear to me that he is a shill. I'd be happy to go to court with that.

FutureDowntownArenaAvoidee said...

This is exactly the type of scheme that turned Reading into the shimmering pearl it is. People who fear for their personal safety do not go to Allentown, especially at night.

ironpigpen said...

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee@gmail.com64.121.102.85 ...

... I am still waiting for an answer (it does not even have to be a rational one) to my valid question with respect to the $ 300,000 dollars of Allentown School District tax money that is expected to be diverted, per The Morning Call's headline.

Still thinking of one, or what?

Personally, I don't care WHO you are ... Your Propaganda is weak. I could not be any less intimidated and I want YOU (and your pal, Chairman Pawlowski) to know.

Um-kay?

Sincerely,

http://www.goironpigs.com

Anonymous said...

"Why have the arena property supporters refused to talk about other 'success stories' across the country? ...

... Because, I suspect that they didn't bother to look for any other success stories before promoting the NIZ structure, and because those other success stories SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST."

Stephen F. Thode,
Real Estate Studies Director,
Lehigh University

quoted in The Morning Call

Bill said...

Reading through this thread, I agree with Retired ASD teacher when he said:

"My experience tells me, the benefits of the project will not come anywhere near justifying the taxpayer expense. We shall see."

The future Arena attendee does sound like someone invested in spinning this story, and has sounded that way over many threads.

As I have said repeatedly, the manner in which this has played out, the secrecy, the cozy relations between those who stand to directly benefit from the building of the arena and our elected leaders, and how merchants on Hamilton Street were treated are a number of issues I am concerned about.

WHO IS REPRESENTING THE CITIZENS WHY MUST EVERYTHING BE KEPT FROM US? WHY ARE THE POLILITICOS AFRAID TO OPEN THIS STUFF UP TO PUBLIC SCRUTINY?

I would not even know about these issues had Mr Ohare and Mr Molovinsky and their coverage of these issues. I live here, and I don't care if they live outside of Allentown.

My guess is I am not alone in my sentiments.

Anonymous said...

My neighborhood association dealt with the issue of the Arena NIZ District yesterday at our monthly meeting.

FDAA should understand that East Siders who work in downtown Allentown will have their EIT's rolled into the NIZ as well to refiance what is newly built there. And there was discussion about alleged allegations of ethic violations and conflicts of interests reported by various media sources.

If our infracture and facilities be neglected due to problems and conditions contributed to the Allentown Arena NIZ District we might need the protection of forming our own NIZ District ourselves or seek the status of a self-governing Borough still associated with the City of Allentown.

To some this may seem crazy but to others it just may be thinking out of the box

That was yesterday. Today I was attending a NSS Chapters Committee Meeting on Conference call to discuss ideas how the Chapters can function better to meet our goal of moving man's horizons to higher heights.

I must be doing something right - FDAA has given me some negative praise. Thanks Bernie for trying to defend me.

One must understand that my interests are varied and work toward creating a better world.

Dennis Pearson

Bernie O'Hare said...

No problem, Dennis. I can understand her trashing me. I'm a miserable bastard. But I have no idea why she felt the need to dump all over you. It's one thing to pick on your grammar and syntax. We've all done that. But to claim that your ideas are "bat shit crazy" is not only nasty, but untrue. Like you said, you must be doing something right. She's a nasty person who is trying to pretend she's better than everyone.

Anonymous said...

The FDAA of today is not the same that started posting a number of months ago. Pretty pathetic that the likes of the administration and the developers have resorted to such low down dog behavior. What can you expect anyway? Wonder how much LVs biggest employers are in on this. Time to check and reconsider their tax free status. Want money, there it is.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

I quote Bernie... "A person who I like to pick on all the time."

You created this video to make fun of Dennis...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFMOd_DAgyw&feature=related

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not "create" that video. I shot the video when he was running for Comm'r so my readers could get to know him. Yes, he is unusual, and I point that out. But I also point out in that video that Dennis is dedicated and really cares about his community. I never considered any of his ideas "bat shit crazy." And when I have criticized his grammar or his mannerisms, I've never hid my identity. What you did is anonymously attack a gentle soul who did nothing to you. Hope it made you feel superior. But I'll take 1 Dennis over 100 of you any day.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

O'Hare you have to be shitting me. You are losing the argument so much that your only retort now is that I dont identify myself. The irony of it all is that I dont work for anyone in the city or its contractors... You claims as being from Vaughn, or being Sara Hailstone is beyond humorous(I appreciate the laugh). What makes it even better is that we have met several times and have had conversations together. Yes Bernie, you have shook my hand and look into my eyes, well after I caught you looking at my breasts.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Excuse me, but you personally attacked one of my readers and without identifying yourself. That's not an "argument" for me to lose, but a statement of fact and, I might add, a violation of my comment policy.

Why are you even here? On the MC comment page, you have warned readers to stay away from both me and Molovinsky. Yet my statcounter shows you coming in here, from MM's blog, at 1:11 AM.

Geez, and after I was staring at your breasts, no less! If it's any consolation, they must have been completely forgettable.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

So now you are once again taking a shot at my body... well you have called me a whore and a prostitute before, so this is par for the course for you.

The thing that is killing you is that you are dying to know who I am. The funny part there is pictures with us both in them...

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have apologized for that remark, explaining that my intention was to make clear that have sold out and are a shill. It was a poor choice of words and I said so. i do not apologize for the breast remark. You made a ridiculous suggestion, and I responded in kind.

I really have no desire to know who you are for the sake of knowing you. I just want my readers to know you are a shill. I think most of them got that message already.

FutureDowntownArenaAttendee said...

Bernie,

Why is it not feasible that me being a female Allentown homeowner believes very different than you? Your views are based on the option that everyone is on your side. The problem with that thinking is that if your thoughts, along with molovinsky's, are correct. We would never have the downtown Allentown that we have now. You lost, your generation had an opportunity. Your vision along with south whitehall resident Michael Molovinisky is to keep everything outside of the third largest city in PA. It is a shame that that your generation failed us. Because lets be honest, you, Molovinsky, Joe Doddona and other views left us with a neighborhood that we need to recover from. The best part is that your fathers generation did not put the city of Allentown in the situation that it is, your generation did. Hence why the younger more education citizenship is here to correct your generations mistakes.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see. Thank God for little trolls like you. You'll make the world right.

Anonymous said...

This FDAA broad sounds like TM sockpuppeting.

Or, maybe they simply belong to the same coven.

-Clem

Bernie O'Hare said...

Now Joe Daddona, who can't defend himself, is being attacked. He certainly made some mistakes as Mayor - his encouragement of "scattered site" subsidized housing using Section 8 funding, as opposed to redeveloping "the projects" like EYA is doing or even Pennrose was a classic - but one thing is for sure, he was totally dedicated to Allentown and its residents and businesses. You could not find a harder working more engaged Mayor than Joe Daddona. Your shot is a cheap one, as well as the sloppy spelling and prose. Maybe you should start your evening martinis AFTER posting here.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Clem, the Wicked Witch of West Easton has not been at it as long as FDAA. Also, I have FDAA's IP and ISP, and she does not use a MAC. The WWWE uses an anonymyzer now to prevent tracking.

The Great Cornholio said...

WWWE is running for delegate and she looks like a man. She has man hands!

Dave said...

Have sent the TCC's formal letter with questions concerning the NIZ tax grab. Thing is..does anyone have the answers to the questions? Only King Ed and his loyal servants know!

Dave said...

Is the LST also in play for a grab by the NIZ? My manager seems to think the answer is yes..they plan on taking that also.