News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

August 24, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Aug. 24, 2012

The nightmare of abatements gone bad

It might have been a dream. My city council, its members sitting as if in a corporate board room, all dressed as they imagine business executives dress, lectures a small plastic-molding firm on a tax abatement gone bad. Through the dreamy haze, they seem to be saying it failed to create enough jobs.

Council Democrats, aware that a policy of handing out other people’s money to politically defined businesses is becoming unpopular, express outrage; they vow to tighten regulations and increase penalties. The Republicans, most oddly, try to demonstrate they can run both government and a business “like a business,” suggesting operational improvements.

Could it be, though, that the council itself has failed. It abides tax rates so high they press a business at the margin, making it nightmarishly difficult to secure a market position or better utilize a physical plant operating under heavy mortgage.

And who are these councilmen to be saying anything at all? The company as it stands creates more actual wealth than the entire city government. Its employees earn paychecks as productive contributors to a free market not as recipients of tax-funded stipend.

At that point the city’s abatement specialist begins explaining in that official pedagogic tone that state law doesn’t allow the recension of a tax break just because of a silly recession. Rules are rules.

The dream ends with a motion to amend the economic-development ordinance. It would make it illegal to not economically develop.

— Craig Ladwig

Executive Director

Indiana Policy

Review Foundation

Fort Wayne

More great ones in Malooley line

I would like to add to the letter from Joan (Bolin) Doan dated July 19, 2012, about the Saratoga Restaurant. My godfather, Mose Malooley, was the only brother not mentioned in the letter. Mose was my godfather and didn’t have anything to do with the Saratoga, but was a really nice man also and never met a stranger and was always willing to help anyone.

I would also like to tell you about his wife, Teefe. She was like a second mother to me and was a great cook. Her kibby was the best. I just wanted to honor them so everyone who reads the Tribune-Star will know about them also.

I also wanted people to know that my mother, Beatrice (Blaker) Marchino, the best mom in the world, went to high school with Joan Doan and I went to State High School with her son, Herbie Doan Jr.

— Bill M. Marchino

Terre Haute

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