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Thursday, April 26, 2012

WFMZ: Latest NIZ Settlment Offer

According to WFMZ-TV69's John Craven, Allentown had made another concession in its attempt to negotiate a municipal lawsuit challenging its controversial NIZ.

Hanover and Bethlehem Townships have previously rejected a proposal under which Allentown offered to return the EIT of current township residents currently working inside the NIZ. But it would still keep the taxes for future workers lured there as a result of poaching that NIZ developer J.B. Reilly denies.

Allentown has apparently caved on the future EIT, although it still wants some of it.

Of course, this proposal does nothing to prevent the poaching that NIZ developer Reilly denies.

The only businesses inside the NIZ have been drawn from other areas of the Lehigh Valley, including Allentown itself.


small business dude said...

I dont see how any of these offers matter when the legislation is unconstitutional anyway. Unless every single lawsuit is dropped, its sure to be dead.

Heck even if Ed did drop the EIT portion, that just means less money to service the debt, which screws up the whole financing scheme.

Anonymous said...

Why would the Townships take this offer?

The legislation says that Allentown keeps the EIT.

How would an EIT revenue sharing approach work unless you change the legislation?

The way I see it, the City desperately needs to get started and will say anything to get there.

However, once the arena is built, they could easily void that "deal" since the "law" says they can.

Anonymous said...

Desperate people resort to desperate tactics.

The Mayor’s next comments, “we want to negotiate a settlement and the Townships are refusing to negotiate. They want to see the project die.”

Negotiating in the press is an act of sheer desperation.

Mr. Mayor I have a questions for you. “Please explain to the citizens of Allentown how you are going to repay $50,000,000 in debt?” Thank God you can raise taxes or become a distressed municipality.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

I have followed this saga intently using many sources. Most telling for me is the size of opposition to the current plan. It's OVERWHELMING!

Very hard to imagine this design moving forward. Too many flaws have been uncovered, with more on the way.

The current plan should be scrapped or, at least, paid for with private dollars. To commit $200 million taxpayer dollars in this way is outrageous. A far less amount of public monies CAN be used for infrastructure and promotional support to entice private investment, but the CURRENT spending plan is way over the top.

My hope is, local developers and surrounding communities continue to object. Mayor Pawlowski and others need to go back to the drawing board.

Offer something with far less public risk. The empty lot can wait. It's not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

I understand what's in this deal for Reilly (he gets a building/buildings paid for by tax dollars). I understand what's in it for Pawlowski and other politicians (they get campaign contributions from the developers and labor unions involved).

Can anyone explain to me what's in this for the lowly Allentown taxpayer? Will they see a decrease in their property tax rates? Their EIT rates? In the numerous fees that have been imposed (moving fee) or raised (trash, others) under Pawlowski?

Shouldn't the taxpayers see something (anything) since their tax dollars - like the other munis that are suing - will be held up (at best) or swallowed up within the NIZ for the next 30 years? Shouldn't they get an accounting of what tax revenue was in the arena footprint (real estate, EIT, BPT, etc) before demolition?

One of the major problems with the project is the lack of public support, which is the direct result of the secrecy and deception that's come from Allentown City Hall. There doesn't seem to be any hope of change in that regard.

Anonymous said...

I think the real question is......Will JB be willing to do this project without taxpayer dollars? That's the question. There comes a point where it isn't worth it for them. Maybe someone should ask JB that question.

Anonymous said...

Bankrupty all around, closed door deals from the start. The law is the law public funds for prvate pockets. This has been palumpas plan for allentown all along. The economic destruction of allentown pa at the hands of one man.
Don't fall for anything that spews from its lips. Pawsinallentownspocketsky

Anonymous said...

Quickly get the the Best Western, 512 & 22 in Hanover Township. Just say no to Mayor Ed. & JB.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Reilly needs all of the EIT as the taxpayer backed security for his developments.

There is no way the City finds an equal amount of revenue to fill in any gap of EIT. It doesn't exist.

Allentown would be fortunate to pay for the arena only.

Anonymous said...

It's official: the scheme is even to risky for the City of Allentown to back anything. They have created an authority, ANIZDA to assume all the risk. Townships would be crazy to accept anything but full restitution on the tax grab and have it guaranteed by the taxing authority of the City of Allentown.

At this point who wants to buy these "junk bonds?"

Anonymous said...

I am new to this blog and this issue but I think that the townships should all agree to assist Allentown in its Renaissance. Allentown could be a great city again, like it wa sin the 50's and 60's probably.

This type of proposed arrangement is common and proliferates across the country.

The only piece that I have not come across yet is how much equity the townships will get in the projects they would be financing.

Seems to me, since they are taking a risk, that the townships should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 25% equity in all the projects and a management voice, until the developer is able to buy them out. Which would probably occur a few years after everything was built and the buildings were consistently producing income.

The idea to use other municipalities as a venture capital source is brilliant. I wonder how long before other broken down cities propose the same.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am new to this blog and this issue but I think that the townships should all agree to assist Allentown in its Renaissance. Allentown could be a great city again, like it wa sin the 50's and 60's probably."

Renaissance? That is so passé, dude. The Pawlowski approved word now is Transformaton.

Nobody wants Allentown to fail. They just don't want the Queen City to tie an iron anchor around their necks and toss them overboard, without so much as a please or thank you.

Stick around. Read u on this issue. I believe you will change your mind, if only bc of thr process followed. If you don't, you're welcome to try to change my mind.

Anonymous said...

Allentown is in TRANSFORMATION to US Bankruptcy Court. The monarchy is doomed.

Anonymous said...

Mr Ohare 709

I am not as good of a writer as I want to be, or that you are.

My post was meant to be sarcastic. If you read it again with that thought in mind, I hope you will get a laugh.

I am actually VERY understanding of this issue and have folowed it from the day you exposed Mrs. Browne.

Keep up the good work,

Bernie O'Hare said...

Now I understand. Hey, that's the problem with writing. I sometimes intend to send one message, but people understand it another way. Happens to me all the time. Thanks for the nice words.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I would think that Reilly and friends would run the other way if they had to give up an equity position and management control. And that is the ONLY way I would allow my tax dollars to be used if I was a township. All the other "solutions" being thrown on the table by King Eddie are bs.

Anonymous said...

You mean to tell me that our Governor just heard about this legislation? This has been in the press for months. Is he that out of touch? He must have been busy protecting the environment.

Anonymous said...

Go to this site and click on State tax certification to see what the total $7.1 million of state tax dollars that will currently go to the NIZ to pay the mortgage on the arena.

On the same page you can also see the break down of local taxes will go to the NIZ.

Please understand that this is only the base line of taxes, and does not account for new companies that move into the NIZ over the next 20 to 30 years.

If JB Reilly attracts local companies to the NIZ the amount of taxes will increase. Those new taxes will go to pay the mortgage for JB Reilly. In turn the company pays a cheaper rent, since the rent does not have to cover the mortgage payment of the building owner. The rent gos straight to the developer's pocket.

MR BRIAN said...

Bernie, good to read your article in the Parkland Press today, nice to see you get more exposure

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks. I believe the Weekly Presses will be carrying a story from me each week that covers the many twists and turns that are occurring so fast with this story. Just enough to keep people informed.

Anonymous said...

Many have complained to the newspapers about your involvement. You are unprofessional and biased.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's nice.

Monkey momma. said...

I will make sure to thank the Press. Keep up the outstanding work.