It’s official. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial board has to be high on crack. Fried out of their peanut-sized minds.
A July 10 editorial criticizes a planned tax abatement for a two-story “luxury hotel and spa” for pets. The hotel is planned for the Seventh Street area just west of downtown, an area that the city designated as a Neighborhood Empowerment Zone (NEZ). Developers who build in these zones are eligible to apply for abatements, and the pet hotel stands to avoid about $30,000 in taxes over five years in exchange for investing about a million and half in construction bucks.
“The primary use of NEZs shouldn’t be to provide hefty tax breaks in booming areas in which new development can be expected to occur even without special breaks,” the editorial said (boldface courtesy of Static). Well, do tell. What door was the editoral board standing behind when city leaders were doling out millions upon millions of dollars to RadioShack, Pier 1, and numerous other companies to “entice” them to build in lucrative areas of town that don’t deserve tax breaks? Where were they vacationing when Cabela’s got an elephantine tax break in order to build in the “blighted” area of the Alliance corridor? And now a little doggie hotel comes yipping for a little abatement, and the old lion finally lets out a roar. Does “hypocritical” fit in a headline?
As far as Static is concerned, nobody deserves abatements – it’s a slap in the face to the spirit of competition, capitalism, and entrepreneurialism. (And here you thought this rag employed only commie pinkos.) If the city is bound and determined to give away tax money to developers, the handouts ought to go to blighted areas, not high-rent areas downtown, on Seventh Street, or in the Alliance area. So while Static agrees with the editorial, somebody needs to tell those cats at the Star-T that their toothless meow is too little, too late. And too nice to the true fat cats who are still lapping at the city milk bowl.