Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010
As residents move out and businesses close in older cities like Cleveland, Akron and the inner-ring suburbs around them, they have little chance of renewal without help. So say some mayors in the region who are advocating that tax revenue be shared across city and county boundaries. Burgeoning Avon helps prop up withering Brooklyn? A pipe dream, or a partial solution for saving Northeast Ohio's older and newer communities? The debate Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. on 90.3.
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City poaching of business is a “man bites dog story,” based on anectodal evidence. Where is the statistical proof that moves are based on tax incentives and competition, versus those moves that industry makes when it makes financial sense (more land for expansion, greater freeway access, etc.)? Solon’s econ director has said less than 5% of the moves to her city are base d on incentives.
As north-east Ohioans we have to realize that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot consistently create “escape routes” from the urban core (ie. automobile infrastructure” and expect citizens to live in/support the city cores. We are spoiled in our lazy commutes. Heaven forbid anyone has to sit in more than 5 minutes of stalled traffic on their 50 minute morning drive. Increasing our highway infrastructure is just letting more of Cleveland’s blood spill on the asphalt.
Prof. Bier seems to be ignoring Mayor McGill’s point. If your employer told you that dividends from the 401k you’ve spent 25 yrs. building would now be shared with employees from other companies, that wouldn’t go over too well. So the question is, what other options are there to simply siphoning dollars from cities that have spent years on economic development.