Just before Christmas, the city council granted tax abatements to three businesses that either plan to move to Noblesville or build a new building here. The abatements amount to more than $900,000 over 10 years and are just the most recent examples of misplaced priorities within City Hall. The city has been awarding these abatements for years, amounting to millions of dollars that aren’t available for public use.
Our tax dollars are precious and ought to be spent where they benefit the most people. Seems to me these tax dollars are benefiting a very few people at a time when we are all paying a monthly trash fee because the city doesn’t have the resources to do routine maintenance.
The administration uses a state law designed to improve economically disadvantaged areas to justify these tax givebacks, but all three projects are in areas that are among our most advantageous: East of Ind. 37 on previously undeveloped land that is the most desirable in the city.
I don’t blame businesses for asking. We’ve conditioned them to request these tax gifts by handing them out for years to just about anyone who asks. But I do blame the city council and the city administration for not keeping a closer watch on the public pocketbook.
We want and need new businesses here in Noblesville, but paying them to move or build here is a flawed strategy. Enlightened economists agree these schemes don’t work for the taxpayer.
We pay some of the highest taxes in the county to fund these deals. It’s time City Hall started working for the average taxpayer instead of for businesses looking to improve their balance sheet at our expense.
Mike Corbett, Noblesville