Letter: Developer subsidies a bad deal for Fraser
October 1, 2015
To the Editor:
Under the guise of economic development, Clark Lipscomb will be coming before the Fraser Town Trustees on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. to ask for subsidies for his proposed commercial development in the meadow area between Winter Park and Fraser. Part of his reasoning is that the Town of Winter Park recently offered subsidies to a developer.
As I understand, he will be asking for what is called tax increment incentives to help him build a hotel, conference center and retail space, which he claims will bring jobs and economic prosperity to Fraser. The developer (Lipscomb) is also requesting that the town identify and apply for programs that would offer incentives for his proposed development.
I am wondering why the town would in effect give up money to benefit a private entity (the developer) at the expense of the public the town is serving. It seems if the town were to help the developer by waiving or lowering taxes and fees and work to find and apply for subsidies for him so that he can build something to personally profit from, the town and the public it serves should be provided provisions to participate in the profits of the developer.
There is no guarantee the development will be completed or that it will be profitable or that it will bring the promised jobs and economic prosperity to Fraser. Other businesses that start up in Fraser don't get subsidies and they provide jobs and prosperity. These existing businesses would be helping to subsidize new businesses of potential competitors.
Developers need to pay. It's the only hope of helping to mitigate the negative effects.
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The public shouldn't have to pay twice: first with subsidies and later with increased taxes and fees. Fraser would not be doing anyone other than the developer any favors by offering subsidies and/or working for the developer to find and apply for subsidies. The Town of Fraser should not allow public subsidy for private gain.
Please attend the Fraser Town Trustee meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Fraser Town Hall.