“REMEMBER, KAY…” YOU AND YOUR NEIGHBORS HAVE BEEN ROBBED
So many callers phoned WAJR’s morning talk show Tuesday morning that co-host Jim Stallings said he had to stop taking calls. The callers were upset at the horrible conditions of the roads around their homes. Co-host Kay Murray, picking up on the many callers’ outrage at the “unconscionable” road conditions, finally complained and asked WV state Senator Bob Beach in studio, why the new $30 million highway interchange for the taxpayer funded WVU ballpark and adjacent businesses could be built by the WV DOT while the DOT wouldn’t even return the phone calls of people suffering from crumbled roads around their homes, let alone fix those roads. Senator Beach bullshitted instantly something along these lines: “You have to remember, Kay, that interchange is already paid for; it’s funded.” Senator Beach may even believe his own bullshit. It happens.
Kay immediately backtracked, saying that she wasn’t against the interchange. But she should have said – never did – that that was exactly her point. In other words, why has legislation been pushed and passed to fund an incredibly expensive highway interchange (let alone hugely expensive ballpark and much additional infrastructure), that is, why use local tax dollars for the benefit of wealthy entities – WVU and the adjacent businesses, already surrounded by good roads – instead of for the benefit of the endless string of local residents calling in about the “unconscionable” crumbled roads around them. After all, it is those local people’s sales tax dollars that are harvested in that WVU/business TIF district that are then siphoned away from them by the legislation spearheaded by WV state Senator Bob Beach. And it is the patronage of the local people shopping at those businesses that create the property value taxes that are being siphoned away from them by the legislation spearheaded by WV state Senator Bob Beach.
That’s right, folks. Senator Beach pushed hard for that legislation that mandates that for the next 30 years the tax dollars of the surrounding area’s people will be forcibly spent building tens of millions of dollars worth of roads and sanitation infrastructure, in addition to the approximately $30 million highway exchange and the approximately $20 million ballpark, not for the people where they live but for WVU and for the wealthy businesses who play hardball and reap crushing profit. Senator Beach could have pushed to have that money spent on the roads around people’s houses, not through TIF legislation but through other tax legislation. He punted but that is to be expected. After all, WVU and the local owners (developers) are stronger than all the rest of the area people combined, currently. But there’s no excuse to go bullshitting about the issue.
Without Bob Beach’s TIF legislation, those tax dollars would have gone to the state (sales tax) and to the county at large (property tax). Legislation could have been pushed to bring those sales tax dollars back to the residential communities and commuter corridors for fixing up the roads, especially if the County Commission agreed to use the property tax dollars as matching revenue for the roadwork. But the wealthy entities got served instead. Senator Beach pushed for those tax dollars to benefit the roads and other infrastructure around local wealthy entities for the next 30 years instead of pushing for legislation to benefit the far less wealthy residents of the county and city in general. Cut through the crap and that’s the reality.
“Ya gotta remember, Kay, that highway interchange has already been paid for.” Yes, by your TIF legislation, Senator Beach, legislation that for the next 30 years locks those tens of million of dollars away from road repair projects in the communities and areas where the vast majority of people actually live and spend most of their time and have the greatest needs. These are people who go to that TIF area to spend their money, and now for 3 decades have all the new state tax dollars and new county property tax dollars there locked away from their communities and locked into that wealthy sports and business park.
It would be further bullshit on Senator Beach’s part to claim that a lot, or even all, of the new tax dollars at issue would not come into existence if not for the forthcoming highway exchange and ballpark. Commerce and construction in that district has been booming and would grow and increase greatly in value regardless of any TIF projects over the next 30 years, and WVU has to build a baseball park somewhere. That is, it would have needed to build a ballpark somewhere but now the taxpayers are building it for them! thanks to Senator Bob Beach’s legislation. Hey! it’s already paid for! Yes, it will be, by taxes from local taxpayers that in all likelihood would have been generated regardless of the TIF projects and that could and should go to much greater and more pressing needs.
Senator Beach’s TIF legislation robs the people to pay the price extracted by the power of big business and big sports.
Of course, it’s unfair to solely blame Senator Beach for this highway robbery legislation. After all, it might not even have been his idea, and the wealthy entities of big commerce and big sports are the main drivers and beneficiaries of the Ballpark TIF. Beach is merely the front man and legislative string puller doing the bidding of wealthy entities and owners (“developers”) using the tax money of the people and the tax money that should be coming back much closer to them in their communities and around their homes.
So, the people should know. The Senator Beach – WVU – Big Business – and – Large Land Owners highway interchange and ballpark and other road and sanitation infrastructure, it has all been heisted and locked down in advance – by TIF-lifted local taxes that will be going toward those deep pockets and not toward the residents who will be paying away those local taxes, by law, for the next 30 years.
To pretend that the TIF projects pay for themselves is pure bullshit. That’s the spin, that’s the PR, that’s the Newspeak. The Shinola. No one says that Senator Beach, WVU admin, big business, and rich realty don’t have skills. Too bad those skills involve fleecing the public and talking phony to cover it up.
“Remember, Kay…” you and your neighbors have been robbed.
On and on it plays on rich man’s radio, Raese radio, WAJR, another episode in that ongoing advertisers’ bonanza: Robbing The People and Pulling The Purse Strings
Is all the bullshit more commercial bonanza or more national pastime? Would there be good jobs and good products, good bridges and good baseball without all the bull? Probably better baseball and better products, along with better jobs and better bridges, and plenty else much more badly needed than the stinking pileups that are currently shat about.
So, let’s remember this for a change: It’s long since time to cut the crap.