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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Janesville's "Sweet Spot" Is Corporate Welfare

The Janesville Gazette finally did their second rehashment of a report from more than six months ago originally posted by the Milken Institute. Milken (and the Gazette) made the claim that the city of Janesville is gaining warehousing and distribution facilities because of its notable interstate access and central location (sweet spot) to five major midwestern cities.

For the most part, that is absolutely true.

But as I blog reviewed the earlier story posted by the Gazette, the truth to the matter is Janesville is handing out millions of dollars worth of land (for free), free money, forgivable loans and government insured loans including property tax refunds for ten years or more to the wealthiest corporate players - like nothing ever seen before in this area.

So Janesville's "sweet spot" is not its valuable geographic location or prize workforce. Instead, it is ideologically founded in collectivism and government dependency. It's corporate welfare or corporate socialism, if the label matters.

Because in truth, local governments would be foolish to pay developers or give away land to city hall insiders or Fortune 500 companies to expand or re-locate their business activity inside those valuable sweet spots. Except in Janesville of course.

Instead, land in a veritable sweet spot is usually sought and fought over by multiple buyers in a bidding war sometimes exceeding the actual market value of the land. In fact, some developers bidding for a "sweet spot" actually avoid requesting tax breaks or Tax Increment Financing considerations as a condition to win exclusive rights for the development.

Point is; if they (Forward Janesville, city bureaucrats and the Gazette) really believe we're in this highly prized location, location, location sweet spot they claim we're in, why are they giving it away for free? Their rhetoric doesn't match that reality.

I would like them to prove me wrong, but their actions have already made that impossible.

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