When the school board passed the 30-year tax abatement on the GE Power building under pressure from the “economic development” folks who claimed GE wouldn’t come to Dayton without the tax break, the deal for the building and tax abatement was to an LLC. The tax break was for 30 years- yet, now in today’s paper, the building is owned by UD, and GE only has a 15-year lease.
Employees are moving into the new $51 million GE Aviation electrical power research and design center near the University of Dayton main campus.
The presence of employees in the building at 111 River Park Drive is a milestone in this young joint venture between the company and the university. The intent is to use the building to attract more business to GE Aviation and more students to the university…
Owned by the university, the building — called the Dayton Electric Power Research Lab — “gives us the ability to compete at a higher level in electric power on aviation platforms,” Vic Bonneau, president of GE Electric Power Integrated Systems. said.
GE has a 15-year lease on the building with an option to extend the lease, said Derek Bus-boom, project manager during construction.
Now it seems that the citizens of Dayton just subsidized a building for a private university, at a huge cost to our schools, which are struggling to pay rising health care costs, rising textbook and technology costs, and serve a student body, most of which can’t afford the luxury of an airplane ticket.
General Electric is still one of the most notorious tax evaders in the United States, and UD doesn’t pay property taxes the same way churches avoid them- 5709.07 Exemption of schools, churches, and colleges.
If the GE lease is only 15 years, shouldn’t the tax abatement only be 15 years and renewable? This is not an educational building anymore than the Dragons’ field is a place that hires Dayton Public School students (one of the promises made in the final deal by then Mayor Richard Clay Dixon, to let the taxpayers pay for a facility owned by the team).
It’s time to re-evaluate what this GE facility should be eligible for in terms of tax breaks, and closely monitor employment and wages paid to see if they match the agreement.