Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jack Remembers: Legalized Robbery

Willie Sutton was a notorious bank robber. In his forty year career, he robbed a hundred banks of more than two million dollars. When asked by a reporter why he robbed banks, he replied, “Because that’s where the money is.”
Well there is a new bandit in town and his name is Sid, (actually, it’s spelled C.I.D., Community Improvement District) who has found a way to legally take our money in a plan that had to be dreamed up by a relative of Willie’s.
In my community, the C.I.D. district includes a strip center which has a grocery store and restaurant. The owner who developed this district is going to receive 1% sales tax of everything sold within the district for twenty five years. In this small district, it could mean a couple hundred thousand dollars per year for the developer. In some areas, the owner collects two or more percent sales tax and even charges the people who buy his land real estates taxes. It’s like forming a town within a town, because the city’s still get their sales taxes and real estate taxes.
The city council has to approve these districts and also have a public hearing with the developer telling them and the townspeople that without his ability to collect this tax to improve the property, he will not build in their city.
I have a friend of mine whose 250 acre farm adjoins the city limits of a community near Kansas City. He is putting his entire farm into the city limits and into one of these districts. He will receive 1% sales tax no matter who buys a portion of his farm to develop businesses. Now tell me that isn’t better than robbing banks.

Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or jackremembers@aol.com

No comments: