Slap Down

By Jim Sack

Rarely does council defeat a tax abatement, but on May 28, 2019, they voted 6 to 1 against a firm, ElringKlinger. They company filed late for their abatement. Very late. Companies are expected to come to the table before constructing as a way of saying “without your help in the form of a tax break we could not do this deal..” The company broke ground in December, so the abatement was just icing on the cake, bottom line enhancement, a profit fattener and our help in the form of a tax abatement was simply unnecessary. 6 to 1 from the effervescently business friendly city council was a stern slap in the face of not only the company, but the Henry Administration and Greater Fort Wayne who no doubt promised to deliver. The company would have saved $800k for their stockholders, instead it will go to the schools, the library and other services. $800k.

The company rep offered a mealy mouth series of excuses that did not tie together well. It was all blame of others, as if he hadn’t read the application for an $800k tax break. In short he took our helping hand for granted.

Also suffering bloody noses were the administration who are supposed to shepherd such applicants, and Greater Fort Wayne in the person of Scott Nalter who got up from the table, his face beet red, and nearly took long strides toward the door left leaving the company man in his dust.

Here is a bottom line: we have full employment in Fort Wayne and don’t need to spend as much luring companies here or helping home grown talent to expand. The economy, despite the not-so-easy-to-win trade war is going well. Abatements are meant to lure companies here. These captains of industry, titans of capitalism should sink or swim in the capitalist nirvana they so lovingly promote, instead of asking handouts from the tax base, which is a precept of the socialism they so love to rail against…until they need it.

Bottomline #3: $800k will buy a lot of school supplies.