It’s bad enough that Ohio has a system of jurisdictions set up in the 1790s that makes so many tax districts and levying organizations that all require overhead- making Ohio an expensive place to live and work. Just look at how many “Mayors” the area known to the world as Dayton has- and then how many police chiefs and sheriffs, fire chiefs and zoning administrators and councils, and street maintenance…. you get the picture. Taxpayers don’t care who shows up when you call a cop- as long as they do their job. On top of that- we have a playing field that is as unlevel as they come- hence all the “development” (or moving of businesses in the giant shell game) to places without an income tax- Beavercreek, Miami Township (Austin Road) etc. We’re really good at moving our problems around and causing new ones- because we can’t address the old ones.
Now, the titans of talk at the Dayton Development Coalition are suggesting that both the taxpayer and local “member businesses” contribute more money to them so they can hand out “incentives” to retain other businesses. Sure, I go to work everyday to make money to hand over to an overpaid, slick-talking suit so he can take a scrape and hand it over to his new best friend- the company claiming it is leaving.
THIS MAKES ZERO SENSE.
Here’s a bit of the article from the Dayton Daily News- which moved its print facility out of the county and its offices outside the SID downtown:
The Dayton Development Coalition seeks to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in additional support from member businesses and local governments to try harder to make sure that the biggest local companies stay and expand here.
A memo drafted as a strategy document for leadership of the public-private coalition states that the region’s business leaders believe “there are gaps and inefficiencies” in current retention and expansion efforts aimed at companies already here, and that the coalition has been asked to take an expanded role.
“Specifically, the large anchor companies are not being addressed in the manner needed,” according to a two-page memo prepared for the coalition’s retention and expansion ad-hoc committee.
Of course, this makes perfect sense, since the head of the DDC makes over double what the City Manager for Dayton makes and at least a third more than the County Administrator (both of whom oversee budgets and organizations that dwarf the DDC in size and importance to the community- with some level of accountability to the public). This is how we make sure that crony capitalism or corporate welfare (depending on which term you prefer) continues to screw things up in Dayton. If you need reminding on the kind of track record these kind of “investments” by government work out- look at UltraCell (and boy do I have more coming on that mess).
Of course, the DDC will say that it is better than some poor civil servant slob who may only be able to make $100k a year and has his or her hands tied by stupid laws (that were put in place to prevent this kind of government meddling in business)- and whom government should thank for taking over these positions and saving the taxpayers money by removing the duplication of effort. It all sounds great- until you realize that their is no voter oversight on this organization- nor are they held accountable for their actions. How would you feel if you made widgets, were a paying member of the DDC, a good citizen- and then find out your “dues” are being handed over to your widget competitor across the street?
If any of this sounds like the way the Mafia works to you, it’s because it’s a similar business model based on fear. If we don’t play the game that all these other communities are doing across the country- our businesses will flee for the better deal as NCR did. However, the real secret to attracting and retaining business is to do the opposite- regionalize, simplify taxes and regulation, improve customer service, invest the money in PUBLIC amenities (that’s what public dollars are supposed to be for) and throw these mobsters in the river with some concrete boots. We don’t need to keep subsidizing more government and quasi-government, we need to deliver more bang for our buck to the businesses and taxpayers who are already here- and tell our story to the world.
“How Dayton decided to stick to the knitting- and get out of the “economic development” business- and created the greatest city to do business in….”