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Tax-free bonds opposed

By Scott Tibbs, June 12, 2011

This is the text of remarks I made during public comment time at the June 12, 2001 County Council meeting.

Greetings, County Council members, and members of the public. My name is Scott Tibbs and I stand before you today in strong support of the Canterbury Apartments development. Bloomington is in need to low-income housing and I welcome attempts to fill this void. I believe the people who wish to build apartments on this land have every right to do so and should not be impeded from exercising their property rights. To the "environmentalists" in the audience and on the Council, I say that if you ware opposed to this project moving forward, you should make an effort to purchase the land. The fact is, the land you are trying to "protect" is not yours, and you do not have a right to impose your views on what is and is not proper upon your fellow citizens.

However, I rise in opposition to tax-free bonds for this development. I do not believe it is the role of government to subsidize business interests. Many people have the legitimate goal of establishing low-income housing but government should not be subsidizing one corporate interest and giving them an advantage their competitors do not have. The Herald-Times had a good editorial on the subject today, but the H-T editorial board did not address the issue of this bond issue looking suspiciously like corporate welfare.

Perhaps the project will move forward without the tax-free bonds, and perhaps it will not. This should not be of concern to the County Council. If the project is not economically feasible enough to proceed without government assistance, then the project is probably not worthy of proceeding at all.

It is true that these bonds do not come from the County directly, and if it were not spent here it would be spent elsewhere. But just because a project is a state or federal program does not mean that Monroe County residents are not subsidizing it, because we all pay state and federal taxes.

Finding myself in agreement with the "Dolphin" is strange to me but this is one issue where Left and Right can find some common ground. Thank you for your time.