Posts Tagged ‘Corporate Welfare’

Super Dupe-er

October 30, 2020

            10-29-20 The Los Angeles Times headlined: Pebble Mine developer promised riches, but expects $1.5-billion subsidy from Alaskans (Richard Read). The story is full of the to-be-expected tales of political intrigue, corruption and environmental concerns that Ohioans have become accustomed to, locally with Larry Householder and HB6. But there is another aspect of the LA Times article which strikes closer to the heart of what is taking place in downtown Newark, something which informs analogously. It is important to note that, before diving into the unseemly details of all the intrigue, corruption, and environmental gore, Read does lay out the facts (guileful as they may be). “The company seeking to develop Pebble Mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay has long promised that the controversial project would bring Alaska jobs, economic growth and tax revenue. But newly released undercover videos made by an environmental advocacy group show that Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. expects a massive state subsidy for the giant mine. In the recording, Ronald Thiessen, the chief executive, tells environmental activists — who are posing as potential investors — that the company plans to raise $4 billion from investors and secure another $1.5 billion from the state. He also says that if a federal permit under the Clean Water Act is denied for the copper and gold mine, his company will try to claim hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from the U.S. government. “In our view it’s a ‘taking,’ an expropriation,” Thiessen says. “And if it’s determined to be a taking by the courts, we expect compensation.” The recordings were released Thursday by the Environmental Investigation Agency, which made them in August and September by duping company executives.” Two days prior the LA Times article Kent Mallett, for the Advocate, headlined: NDP leaders hopeful Arcade restoration project can secure ‘critical’ tax credits (10-27-20) which was a practically verbatim article written by him and published on 6-29-20 (Arcade renovation project could cost $15 million, needs tax credits). Along with the to-be-expected falderal of Arcade history, what is being uncovered, etc., both articles include the somewhat official looking economic details of projected sources of income (apartments and store/office rental) as well as the projected cost ($15 million). Neither story provides the crucial tax payer investment – the amount of the projected tax credit, without which all the Newark Development Partners (and city) become quite anxious for the fate of the white elephant they may have forced Tom Cotton to sell. An oversight on the part of Mr. Mallett? Doubtful. It is sad that Borat style guile would be needed to reveal the amount that the NDP is anticipating. Like the Pebble Mine enterprise, the Arcade project is relying on tax payer investment in the form of tax credits (money paid to the owner/developers – NDP). Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd. anticipates tax payer investment to be approximately 27+% of the total needed. The same percentage calculated on NDP’s Arcade project would yield around $4+ million. Will we ever know? Will someone need to be duped to find out? Given the ditto articles by The Advocate (almost exactly 4 months apart), is someone perhaps already being duped?

Expecting Different Results

March 6, 2019

“The Bible tells us that there is a time and a place for everything under the Heavens. At this point in Ohio history, it is the time for us to INVEST IN OHIO!” Following the initial kudos and acknowledgements, this was the opening line of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s 2019 State of the State address. His primary focus of investment is the maintenance and upgrading of Ohio’s roads and bridges. Whereas John Kasich never failed to disparage his Democrat predecessor for leaving him a rainy day fund without any money, Mike DeWine revealed that he likewise has been left with a fund out of money, transportation. “The only difference is that the state has masked its problem by borrowing more and more money (none of which, by the way, has gone to our local communities). Well—now our credit cards are literally maxed out—and we simply cannot borrow any more—nor should we. Some may think that if we do nothing, the quality of our roads will somehow remain the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. The money the state has borrowed—that same money that has been propping us up—has now been spent. It’s gone.” Unspoken is that we (the GOP) have only ourselves to blame for it. Butt weight, there’s more. Not only was no mention made that this hollowed out account was left by the outgoing administration, but the outgoing administration’s “innovative new public-private partnership,” JobsOhio, was never once mentioned in the entire speech. Coincidence? Almost within the same time as the speech, JobsOhio released their annual report. “2018: A ‘record year’ for JobsOhio” by Thomas Gnau, for the Dayton Daily News (3-5-19) gives the numbers: “2018 figures offered by JobsOhio:• Total number of projects: 266• New jobs: 27,071 • New jobs payroll: $1.3 billion• Retained jobs: 69,905• Retained jobs payroll: $4.2 billion• Capital investment: $9.6 billion” As then Ohio Auditor and now Ohio AG Dave Yost showed only too clearly, the nitty gritty of these figures can never be known. How much of the $9.6 billion involved tax payer moneys, generated by liquor sales or otherwise? How integral was JobsOhio to the creation of the 27,071 new jobs? Would all or part still have become actual without JobsOhio intervention? JobsOhio takes no responsibility for the Lordstown shuttering (“out of their hands”) yet they take credit for new jobs carte blanche. The appearance/disappearance of JobsOhio during the State of the State speaks volumes without making a sound uttered by the current Governor (“It’s gone.”). Few remember when liquor was sold only in “State Stores”, but liquor sold in Ohio still is managed by the State with the difference being that no one but JobsOhio profits from the sales. It IS, by design, a public private partnership. In December of 2016 this blog wrote of one such JobsOhio “Capital investment” (Stormy Weather, 12-9-16) “JobsOhio Picks Up the $17M Cost for Prepping OH Cracker Site (Marcellus Drilling News 12-7-16). From that article (in the industry’s own words): “Clearing the site, which once hosted the R.E. Burger coal-fired power plant, was no small task. The power plant site, owned and (until 2011) operated by FirstEnergy cost $14 million for demolition, remediation and general cleaning up. An adjacent site (not owned by FirstEnergy) cost another $3 million to tidy up. All told it took $17 million to clean up the site and get it ready to begin construction. FirstEnergy is reported to have said they were “excited” by the opportunity to spend $14 million to clean it up. Wait, what? They wanted to spend the money? Well actually, no, they didn’t. FirstEnergy spent the money to clean up the site because they have been/are being reimbursed for the cost by JobsOhio”” No hydrocarbon cracking plant was ever built. The site sits “jobs ready”, or is that “investment ready”? But you can’t drive on it or use it to cross a river. Governor DeWine is correct. The money is gone, but he makes it sound as if someone just didn’t pay attention to Franklin in handling the Benjamins (“Neither a borrower nor lender be”). Truth is, along with the tax cuts it was given away to subsidize corporate wealth through JobsOhio. Now DeWine and the GOP want to “fix the problem” of this migration of funding resources through a regressive tax, paid by those on the other end of the corporate wealth spectrum. Butt weight, there’s even more with another priority proffered with this State of the State statement: “In the budget that I will propose, we will be creating a new public health fund, that will leverage resources through an innovative new public-private partnership to increase public health awareness and prevention strategies.” The GOP never gives up on insisting there is money to be made wherever there is public need. “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.” (origin unknown).

2018

January 1, 2018

With 2018 Analysis must admit that it has reached the end of analysis. What’s that mean? Sometimes “end” can mean finished (“The End” of the movie), sometimes “end” can mean conclusion (the projected end of a process), and sometimes “end” simply means that all the elements or reason’s for defining or pursuing something have displayed themselves, made themselves apparent, and there are no more elements to be determined or reasoning to be defined. After 5 years of writing, Analysis feels it has reached that point. The Longaberger Basket Building would be the case in point. (A ‘big vision’ in store for Longaberger basket building, Bethany Bruner and Maria DeVito, Advocate, 12-29-17). Analysis even questions the need for referencing the reporting. Previous blog essays have followed this debacle for years, almost from the inception of Newark News Analysis. Yet in Bruner and Devito’s report we read “The financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.” Why not? Poor investigative reporting or another case of “public private partnership” where the “private” doesn’t have to reveal how it is using the “public”? Wiki “corporate welfare.” Again, Analysis can point to what we do know, as reported previously (and once again on the 29th) the sale involved the city forgiving what was owed to it through various taxes, fees, and penalties. And the entire city administration and council were on board for that (“Licking County Treasurer Olivia Parkinson said the county is supposed to be receiving a check early next week for a “big chunk” of the back taxes Longaberger had owed. Parkinson said the new owners are planning to file an application to have the penalties of the most recent taxes owed remitted. Newark City Council had passed legislation earlier this month to allow the city to release some or all of the liens for unpaid water and sewer bills and other money owed by Longaberger in an effort to move the sale forward.”). The shapeshifter mayor of Newark (Jeff Hall) likewise speaks out of both sides of his mouth – “”But we do know it’s going to be a tax producing property again,” he said. “It’ll be a good asset in community instead of sitting as a vacant building deteriorating.”” “Hall said while the basket building is not very old, it is unique enough to qualify for historic tax credits. Coon will still have to apply for the tax credits, Hall said. “Without even that potential, it wouldn’t have been of interest to him,” Hall said. Hall said once the final plans are announced, it could take years before renovations are complete.” Newark’s Mayor belies his own public tax payer paid position by flaunting the new owners’ potential to not only NOT pay taxes, but also to be reimbursed by tax payer funds (“historic tax credits’). This in itself begs the questions of abatements during the “years before renovations are complete” and it becomes “a tax producing property again.” If you think this is just another manifestation of MAGA, you’d be more than correct in that the building would have to generate a ridiculous amount of tax revenue in its later years to offset the enormous bath the City and County have taken, something the early years of active business occupancy never produced. And what if the new owners choose to just flip their new acquisition? Of course, we also read “”It has been fun watching the progress in the Downtown and I’m excited to be a part of the movement,” he [Steve Coon, “a Canton-based developer who owns Coon Restoration, and his partner, Bobby George, of Cleveland, closed on the building Friday afternoon.”] said in the release. “The Longaberger Basket Building is known all over the world and I can’t tell you how excited I am to preserve and renovate this building and put it back into use.”” Where have we heard that before? (Clue– current and past owners of Longaberger since Dave’s demise) Who wouldn’t be giddy when they not only pay pennies on the dollar for real property, with few if any tax liabilities, but likewise elide full disclosure on the overall costs/benefits of the “public private” deal? We’re dealing! Shapeshifter Mayor Jeff Hall will probably pave the Cherry Valley Rd. dead end as well as the east of Dayton Rd. portion of East Main Street and sell it as “shine.” And city leaders will buy it and drink it! No, Analysis has reached its end. In the essay “Steve Bannon Declares Jihad On Infidels” (10-18-17) Analysis quoted Alternet’s Ivy Oleson’s embedded reporter’s report ““This is when I realize that what Ivy [Ivy El Zaatari, the Leadership Institute organizer/instructor] means is that Conservatism appeals to people on a level above facts: religion. Conservatives are skipping right over the whole logic bit and get straight to the good stuff. Ivy is hinting around about “philosophy,” because, like she said, “I’m talking about Conservatives, not Republicans. [..] They talk about their Bibles as much as their Constitution.” Sell ‘em a fantasy, and one with a moral, religious backing as well. Ivy has been trying to get it through our heads that the fear of God is how you can get people to vote against their best interests.””