Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Crony capitalism

From page A4 | February 28, 2014 |

Every day thousands of vehicles drive on Latrobe Road between the highway offramp and White Rock Road. Each day they go by a large building with landscaping and a well-manicured lawn. That large single-story building has been empty for about a decade. It once was home to a manufacturing company that made plastic cases for DVDs.

El Dorado County’s economic development manager and the Board of Supervisors were so eager to get a business with jobs that they reduced the property taxes for the business. Then, after less than two years, the manufacturing operation closed and the building has been empty ever since.

Meantime no one else has gotten a break on their property taxes. Never fear, we have a new Board of Supervisors, a new CAO and new economic development manager. That means more special deals for special people.

Here’s the nickel summary of the policy from the Business Alliance newsletter:

“The policy would use public funds and rewards as encouragements to private companies that ‘benefit the greater public’ and would be monitored. The policy suggests that ‘particular business sectors’ be targeted and included examples such as ‘Advanced Manufacturing,’ ‘Research and Development,’ ‘Alternative Energy/Green Technology’ and ‘Health and Wellness’ sectors.”

We can think of a number of businesses that have recently opened that fit every one of those descriptions. They didn’t need public financial incentives. They either had an entrepreneurial drive or they moved an existing business here because they liked the area and also because they liked living near their work.

“Financial incentives being considered are sale tax reductions and deferred or reduced property taxes for a specific number of years. Other incentives include consideration of assistance with EDC’s permitting process and/or reduction of impact or permit fees,” according to the Business Alliance summary.

Look at those business categories again. Can any of our readers figure out which ones would pay sales tax? Has anyone at the county considered the property tax that goes to the El Dorado Irrigation District before they start reducing property taxes? And why not reduce property taxes and impact fees for any new business anywhere in the county? Why should one specially favored business get special favors from the government? How about directing business to Georgetown where unemployment is 12 percent?

That is our tax money that is being given away. Our road improvement money that is being given away. When government chooses the winners it is called crony capitalism. If anyone thinks this is going to be a clear, policy-driven process they would have guessed wrong. You can be sure individual board members will be pressuring for one favored business friend or another. Green technology? Give us a break. The county might as well be spending our tax dollars on shamrocks and leprechauns.



Mountain Democrat



District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3



My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment



Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery



Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17