Your tax money, not being spent on you: Corporate Welfare in Ohio

State lawmakers are thinking about ditching the $20 late fee on license plates now that so many have complained. Now they posture and say they don’t want to hit us with “hidden fees.”

Yet, no one is screaming loudly enough about these “Rapid Outreach Grants” which are tax dollar giveaways to private companies. This is truly CRIMINAL.

Three companies are getting nearly $850,000 in Ohio help to expand in the Dayton area.

The State Controlling Board Monday approved a $750,000 Rapid Outreach Grant for Code Blue LLC — a Wisconsin-based third-party claims administration services firm — which is looking to open a facility in Springfield and hire more than 200. The money, administered by the Ohio Department of Development, would go toward new machinery, equipment and hardware.

Other state funds are going to:

Assembly & Test Worldwide Inc., a Dayton-based provider of custom equipment assembly and testing for a variety of industries, will receive a $75,000 Rapid Outreach Grant to expand and add 45 jobs. In November, city officials approved a $150,000 development fund grant towards the project. The company will complete exterior renovations and add a production line for coating solar glass; and Quickstep Composites LLC of Dayton, which will receive a $20,000 Rapid Outreach Grant toward buying of machinery and equipment. The company has commercialized a method for the rapid curing of advanced composites used in aircraft and high performance automobiles. This $900,000 project is expected to create 20 jobs.

via Ohio doles $850K to three Dayton projects – Dayton Business Journal:.

The State of Ohio is robbing the taxpayers of Ohio (of whom over 10% are currently unemployed) and cutting services, raising fees and fines, and telling teachers and other public servants to take pay cuts, or trying to weasel out of pension commitments, while claiming poverty- yet handing our tax dollars (that’s what a grant is) to select individuals. I’ve called it corporate welfare, but- what it’s become worse than that- starting a business in Ohio is more like walking into a casino- run by the mob with a cover charge.

Here is how you play this game: Cozy up to politicians or unnecessary bureaucrats (the entire Ohio Department of Development) by paying into campaign treasuries- or even just “promising jobs” (the new crack to politicians) and make a case that you’ll take your business elsewhere if they don’t give you a handout of tax dollars.

Take the money.

Don’t deliver.

Get sold, disband, reformulate the business- repeat.

Need a poster child for this corporate welfare- read the posts on this site about Qbase. They are only one example.

Now, imagine you are an honest, hardworking, Ohio businessman who has paid his taxes, employed people for years- and happen to be a direct competitor to “Code Blue” (even the name fits- as it’s a term used by medical staff when it’s time to resuscitate a dying patient). All of a sudden, a new competitor pops up- with a three quarter of a million dollar cost advantage. They can temporarily pay more, or undercut you enough to put you out of business. Is it fair- absolutely not. Do politicians care- not unless you are one of their campaign contributors. Yep- we’ve become no different than third world countries we mock where you have to pay off the local powerbase to do business.

This is what has the tea-baggers up in arms- although they can’t enunciate it clearly. Our tax dollars are not supposed to be spent on things that make it harder for us to do business. Yet, it’s happening all over the country- so it must be the way the game is played. We do it- but, when Georgia does it better- we complain (NCR).

When local government builds a brand new office building and calls it an incubator, or “TechTown” with your tax dollars, and then offers subsidized rent- we forget that right down the street is an existing business like DHC which owns the old Woolpert building on Monument that has to rent its space. Or when we build “public housing” and offer it cheap– private landlords have to match price- or lose out.

I’m sounding like a right-winger on this, but it’s getting obvious that our political system is severely broken if these kind of deals are being done with our money- while the State can’t deliver the things it’s charged by law to do: public safety, public education, infrastructure.

The Ohio Department of Development has handed out many more dollars than these three grants. Which one in the future is going to make you lose your job, or break your business to fund someone else’s?

Level playing fields aren’t optional if we want capitalism to work. We complain about foreign workers taking our jobs and blame third world countries for our loss of manufacturing jobs. Trust me, you don’t have to look to China to see government tinkering with cost structures to tilt the playing field- we’ve got it right here in Ohio.

Go ahead and fine me $20 on the license plates to pay for the State Patrol- just stop giving away millions to my competition please.

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