Yesterday, the question of corporate welfare was the subject of the Dayton Daily News- with Mayor Gary Leitzel seemingly being the only one to realize that the handouts are nothing more than handouts.
Since 2008, the city has given $400,000 in public funds to help law firms and nonprofits already downtown relocate — sometimes across the street. The city has also lured [email protected] and Deloitte Consulting LLP from Kettering with a combined $200,000.
City officials said the money is an investment to retain the income tax revenue from the few hundred jobs, but Mayor Gary Leitzell said the process has become “a game” by downtown law firms and said that spending the money doesn’t help the city long-term.
“They come to us and line up and say our lease is up, what is the city going to do to keep us here,” he said. “Wouldn’t that (money) be better spent in programming to attract people to Dayton so they want to be here?
“Our mission is get people to want to come to Dayton, not pay them to stay,” Leitzell said.
Today, we find out that City Manager Tim Riordan can’t find a way to plug the holes in the budget- and thinks that raising the city income tax is going to help:
Dayton City Manager Tim Riordan could ask city leaders “within a couple weeks” to support an income tax increase to fix a deficit in the operating budget that could drop by $17 million next year.
Unfortunately, Mayor Leitzell seems to think a “temporary tax increase” is OK- never paying attention to the effect it will have on every business that now has to change its processes to collect the extra tax- and the impact it may have on those companies’ bottom line- or decision to stay in Dayton or to go.
Let’s see. Last year the city gave away $600,000 of the taxpayers’ money to a few select companies- instead of providing needed services with the money. What isn’t included in that sum is the huge amount of overhead it requires- all the “economic development people” who cost money as well. Just get rid of Shelly Dickstein’s position and you save another $100,000+ her support staff- probably another $500,000.
Wow, eliminating 5 people plus their handouts – just saved the city $1.5 million a year.
Now, lets go back to the illegal raises granted by former City Manager Rashad Young to city staffers- and himself. Revoke them. Go after Mr. Young and former Mayor McLin as criminals- and recover damages- because what they did was to break the public trust, and it’s the public’s trust that gives us the incentive to allow the City to take more money out of our income- to take care of our business.
Unfortunately- City Hall thinks it’s their business to take care of private businesses- not the taxpayers:
Who has received city funding since 2008?
- Flanagan, Lieberman, Hoffman & Swaim: $50,000 to relocate from 318 W. Fourth St. to 15 W. Fourth St.
- Area Agency on Aging: $200,000 to relocate from 6 S. Patterson Blvd. to 40 W. Second St.
- [email protected]: $65,000 to relocate from Kettering to 937 S. Patterson Blvd.
- Vocalink Language Services: $40,000 to relocate from 40 S. Perry St. to 405 W. First St.
- Deloitte Consulting: $140,000 to relocate from 10 W. Second St. and Research Park in Kettering to 220 E. Monument Ave.
- Taft, Stettinius & Hollister: $100,000 to relocate from 110 N. Main St. to 40 N. Main St.
If the city wants more income tax coming in, the easiest way is to gain more residents- utilizing our abundance of cheap housing and abundant clean water (never mind a large pool of skilled labor). Yet, in their mad pursuit of supporting Nan Whaley’s biggest campaign donor– they chose to invest in decreasing our inventory in a never-ending retreat strategy:
The number of vacant structures in the city continues growing despite a demolition effort that has razed more than 1,000 housing units since 2007.
At the current pace, it will take more than a decade to right size the city’s building stock at an estimated cost of $50 million.
Not only could $50 million go a long way to fixing up homes- it would bring taxpaying residents into the city. At some point we need a strategy that is different than the current one. Right now we are taking away what the poor have abandoned as they increasingly can’t afford to live in a dying city- with no hope of job growth with current “leadership” and handing our money over to title bureaus, demolition contractors, landfill operators and other vultures of society who are feasting on the shambles of our once great city.
Robbing from the poor, to give to the rich isn’t a viable strategy. It’s time to knuckle down, find our strengths and start building instead of throwing up our hands and asking for the last nail of a tax increase to seal our fate.