Friday, March 2, 2012

Stop the presses…in a manner of speaking!

Re the page for S. Donnald Susman-Pingree posted yesterday, we have some good news for our friend with the overflowing checkbook.

It turns out he won’t need as much as he might have thought to make The Ostrich whole in the eyes of town officials and an adoring and oh-so-benevolent public.


Enter TIFs, that artifice much beloved by taxpayers everywhere. This time the real kind, rather than the figurative, de facto sort we’d asserted the Ostrich was enjoying by not paying their taxes for a good while.

It turns out that several years ago, the town set up a TIF District and Development Program associated with the town industrial park, and specifically the lots on Business Parkway, where our media friends are currently encamped.

Among other things, this arrangement calls for 10% of the property taxes paid by The Ostrich, DBA Brunswick Publishing, to be rebated to them under a ‘credit enhancement agreement.’  The total rebate is capped at $110,000.  We don’t know how much of that total they’ve already received.

We understand they have to pay the taxes first to get the rebate.  Suggestion to town officials: the next time you enter into such an agreement, you might condition it on timely payment of taxes.  No on-time payment, no rebate.  And that share of the total rebate cap is lost, gone, by-by, just like that.

Now that we think about it, in the interest of fairness, equity, and media justice, shouldn’t ALL media outlets in town be given a 10% credit enhancement deal on their property taxes? 

Especially those that pay their taxes on time like good little boys and girls?  Wouldn’t that be only fair?

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