Vintage partners asked City Council last week for a $2.5 million tax break to reroute and expand Soliere Ave. to serve the retail outlets and hotels they are to build. Council voted down the tax incentive.
My first reaction to the news of the request was why $2.5 million? Why not $1 million? Why not $1.5 million? To receive such a tax break the corporation must show by law that the city will receive economic benefits that exceed the incentive, as well as that the project would not happen without the tax break. The second condition was never met.
If on Council I would have taken a different approach and asked for a delay in the vote, until Vintage Partners can provide financial evidence that the project would not happen without assistance. When someone applies for food stamps they must show their bank accounts, their income, and prove to the government that they absolutely need government assistance. Corporations asking for millions should be held at least to the same standard as a struggling single parent asking for a few hundred dollars in food for their children.
Show us your books and we can talk. You haven’t met the burden of proof to receive government assistance, and we'll delay the vote until you do. Ball's in your court.