I was wondering what polices would Archie Wilson like to see implemented to control cronyism. Here are some of my ideas:
- Public notice of pending TIFs
- Public comment on pending TIFs
- Background material on pending TIFs displayed on county web site.
Recently I have been looking at the Jungle Jim’s agreement with Union Township, http://communitypress.cincinnati.com/article/20101015/NEWS/10150367/Union-Twp-defends-Jungle-Jim-s-agreement. It is close to where I work so I drove by. I was surprised to find that the property had a variety of small tenants including a movie theater and gas station. There are two things that bother me.
- When I looked up the tax records on this property, the owner paid $450,196 in 2009. This is a lot of money when you compare it to taxes paid by the Meijer down the street, $159,852. The Meijer property has a similar amount of acreage and square footage but the Jungle Jim building is considerably older and more expensive. So who is going to pay the property tax and at what rate? As a resident of Clermont County I would like to see the larger amount going into the county coffers so we can avoid layoffs. If I understand the concept of TIF correctly, the tax on the value added by the improvement is used to pay off the loan while the base amount goes to the county.
- There are two competitors to the proposed development within a mile, Walmart and Meijer. I wonder how they feel about the development? I cannot help but wonder whether this development will force one of those competitors to abandon their location unless they get the same deal. Jungle Jim’s is special but probably not special enough to increase spending in the area. It sure looks like we have three grocery stores fighting for the same grocery dollar.