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Monday, March 14, 2011

Will Janesville Post Delinquent Developers Names On The Web?

For years Janesville taxpayers helped private developers skirt the free market banking and loan system by underwriting loans to pay for development infrastructure improvements. Few people thought it was wrong - except me of course. But now it's come home to roost as the city finds itself in a $3 million hole. Oftentimes billed as a public/private partnership, Janesville taxpayers have suddenly found ourselves without a partner when it came time to help share in the losses.

The amount delinquent on the lots is about $1.77 million, with additional amounts owing, but not due, of $1.15 million. Of the $2.92 million total, about 65 percent is owed to the general fund, 18 percent to the water utility and 16.5 percent to the wastewater utility.

So the question is: will the City of Janesville take the same kind of pro-active approach the state has taken with delinquent taxpayers and post the identities of the delinquent developers on a dedicated page on the internet? Why not? The state now posts the names of delinquent taxpayers who owe $5,000 or more. Janesville taxpayers deserve to know exactly who failed to keep their end of a bargain that will eventually cost us $3 million. We should also have the duty to warn others so this won't happen to another unsuspecting lender.

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