Photo courtesy of Yelm-based photographer Guustaaf Damave
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding heads up the Yelm Economic Development Committee, which is working to bring light industry to Yelm, according to Mr. Harding at a recent City Council meeting.
CITY OFFICIALS SHOULD READ THIS PRIOR TO GIVING TAX BREAKS:
USA Today reported in its August 21st editions,
“Generous tax breaks given to companies that threaten to take their business elsewhere are coming under increasing scrutiny from state and local officials who say taxpayers aren’t getting their money’s worth.
Critics say the tax breaks and other financial incentives have gotten out of hand, costing taxpayers billions of dollars and doing little for the economy.
‘There’s an entitlement mentality about tax breaks today,’ Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Mark Funkhouser says. ‘Every developer thinks it’s his right not to pay property taxes.’ Funkhouser was elected mayor in May after campaigning against tax breaks to developers, including one for a luxury condo development in an affluent part of his city.
Supporters of incentives say the deals are crucial to keeping economies strong, especially in depressed areas. ‘A well-thought-out portfolio of incentives is vital to being competitive for quality projects,’ says Jim Fain, commerce secretary in North Carolina, which has been aggressive in providing economic assistance to companies…
State and local governments offer about $50 billion a year in tax breaks and other economic incentives, according to economists Alan Peters and Peter Fisher.
Academics say there is little evidence to show that tax breaks have a lasting effect on a local economy.
Property tax breaks to manufacturers appear to boost industrial employment for a short time, says University of Nebraska economist John Anderson, a former Michigan economic developer.
‘But the impact of incentives dissipates quickly, so in a few years, there’s no benefit to employment,’ he says.”
AS FOR YELM:
Discussed here on September 28, 2006, I questioned the makeup of the Yelm EDC with so many Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, suggesting there is not one member outside of city officals and the Yelm Chamber infusing the EDC with divergent views.
I contacted the City of Yelm last week to see if the Yelm EDC appointees had changed.
The email sent to City Administrator Shelly Badger received no response.
Last year, they were:
Mayor Ron Harding
Grant Beck, Yelm Community Development Director
Shelly Badger, Yelm City Administrator
Cecelia Jenkins, Executive Director of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce
Steve Ruff, Miles Sand & Gravel and now former Yelm Chamber of Commerce President
Glen Cunningham, local contractor, Yelm Chamber Board member and Yelm Planning Commission Chair
As I said on September 28, 2006 on this blog,
“No disrespect intended Mr. Mayor, however the makeup of the Yelm Economic Development Committee (EDC) encompasses little or no sales, marketing, economic development, advertising, and/or corporate experience out in the world, IMHO. Mayor Harding stated, ‘Each of the backgrounds that you feel should be present on this committee is already present.’
I ask, ‘Where are citizen appointments and participation from a broad cross-section of this community?’
Mayor Harding, Ms. Jenkins, Steve Ruff, & Glen Cunningham serve on both the Yelm EDC AND the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
And Mr. Cunningham is the City’s Planning Commission Chair, Yelm EDC member AND Yelm Chamber Board member.”
[And, Is there not some conflict of interest here? ]
Therefore, new ideas and viewpoints for the Economic Development of this community from a divergent range of experiences are limited to the same people on both the Chamber Board and Yelm’s EDC.
While I applaud the service by these fine people to the city, where is infusion of fresh new concepts and skills by others willing to serve?”
WHAT SAY YOU?
WOULD YOU OFFER YOUR TALENTS TO THE COMMUNITY IF ASKED BY MAYOR HARDING?
DO YOU SUPPORT THE YELM EDC LURING NEW INDUSTRY HERE BY USING TAX BREAKS?