This situation reminds me of President Reagan's quote "If it moves, Government taxes it. If it keeps moving, Government regulates it. If it stops moving, Government subsidizes it."
Lower Macungie Township may have declared the (Hamilton Crossings) property blighted. Why wouldn't they? They have nothing to lose, they have no skin in the game as they have no (township) property tax, and they get to look good and say they created this wonderful development and created jobs.
I don't know that I'd consider the property "blighted". It's a field. It works just fine as a field. It does not cause increased traffic pressure.
To the Developers, I sympathize with your efforts to gain financing to compensate for Government requirements and red tape. However, I would posit that the solution to Government imposed idiocy in interfering with the free market is not requesting more idiocy in the form of Government interfering in the free market. If I believed that it was, I would be an Obama supporter and I would be telling you "you didn't build it". If you want to build your development in our community, I invite you to do so. We are one of the fastest growing areas in the state and have a nice, high level of disposable income. I ask that you (pursue your project) in the same, time honoured fashion as generations of Capitalists have done before you: Put up with the roadblocks of government red tape, take a risk, and reap the rewards. If I may quote one of the bumper stickers on my car, "Real businessmen get it done without government stimulus!"
To my colleagues on the Board, I know you're all dazzled by the prospect of this bag of "found money." However, I ask all of you to join me in opposing this based on the principles of a Laissez-faire free market. At an ever increasing pace, government is subsidizing the "proletariat 99%" as well as the corporations (1%). Time to draw a line in the sand! In the words of, if you'll indulge my nerdom for a moment, Jean Luc Piccard "The line must be drawn here! This far! No farther!"
It is not the place of Government, in the American, free market system, to create jobs and pick winners and losers. If we approve this (TIF) we will be doing just that. As public officials, we either believe in free markets, or we don't. Our votes tonight will reflect what we believe.The final vote was 6-2-1 in favor. Heid, Earnshaw, Bacher, Sandy Rhodes, Fuller, and Ballard voting for the TIF. Lynn Donches and myself were the lone votes in opposition. Director Mike Policano abstained.
If there is still hope to stop this Government intrusion into the free market, it is in the hands of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners.