BEAT BYTE: Neighbors protest huge new Rock Bridge subdivision
- THE COLUMBIA HEART BEAT -- 12/3/121) MORE BAD NEWS ABOUT CORPORATE WELFARE: New York Times features CoMo examples2) MORE COLUMBIA AIRPORT CONTROVERSY: Another state travel group opposes McDavid plan3) NEIGHBORS PLAN TO PROTEST: Giant new subdivision next to Rock Bridge State Park4) LEAVING ON A HIGH NOTE: Remarkable legislation caps Anthony's last Council meeting5) DINING ROOM GATHERING: Timely play ends season for CoMo's Berlin Theatre6) ALMETA CRAYTON: Starts political career with big Trib endorsement -- Part 3 of a series7) RUMOR'S OF PINKEL'S DEMISE: Much exaggerated, but broadcast by St. Louis CBS station8) FOOD ALLERGY DETECTIVES: New entrants in Columbia's growing technology startup sector9) HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Public forum to address climate change
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MORE BAD NEWS ABOUT CORPORATE WELFARE: New York Times features CoMo examplesThe skyrocketing cost of $80 billion in annual taxpayer subsidies
COLUMBIA, 12/3/12 (Beat Byte) -- As Congress and the President fight over a national fiscal cliff, a comprehensive New York Times series that started this week claims thousands of U.S. communities plunge over regional fiscal cliffs every year, spending some $80 billion annually in taxpayer incentives designed to woo large corporations and "create jobs."
In the throes of incentive fever for at least five years, Columbia and Boone County are presently struggling with a public angry over TIFs, EEZs, and other poorly-vetted programs that similarly benefit a chosen few at the expense of everyone else.
The NY Times series includes hundreds of examples in Missouri, where enterprise zones, tax credits, loan guarantees and other so-called "corporate welfare" have shifted tax burdens to individuals, while taking much-needed funding from schools, libraries, police, and other public services. A searchable database displays several well-known Columbia firms, including IBM, which received $32 million; Veterans United Home Loans ($6.1 million); and CarFax ($1.4 million).
The series raises an important question: Why hike taxes on individuals making over $250K/year, a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to the savings that might be had by ending regional corporate welfare -- nearly $1 trillion in ten years?
Excerpts from the NY Times series on the high cost of regional corporate welfare:
A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.The cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created.Even where officials do track incentives, they acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid.A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them. Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States.Over the years, corporations have increasingly exploited that fear, creating a high-stakes bazaar where they pit local officials against one another to get the most lucrative packages. States compete with other states, cities compete with surrounding suburbs, and even small towns have entered the race with the goal of defeating their neighbors.
RELATED:See also video entitled: Border War: Kansas City
MORE COLUMBIA AIRPORT CONTROVERSY: Another state travel group opposes McDavid plan
Hurting hotels to help airport makes no sense, groups claim in concerted protest
COLUMBIA, 12/3/12 (Beat Byte) -- Another statewide travel and tourism organization has announced opposition to plans by Columbia Mayor Bob McDavid and local economic boosters to hike and divert tourism tax dollars to upgrade the Columbia Regional Airport.The Missouri Travel Council (MTC) joins the Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association and the Columbia Hospitality Association (CHA) in publicly opposing the plan, which proposes lodging tax hikes and diversion of tens of millions of dollars in tourism and event development funds to airport redevelopment.
"Designating airport renovations as a form of tourism marketing is an incredible stretch of the intended use of tourism marketing funds," said MTC President Laura Tobey. "While the airport certainly helps bring people to Columbia, the airport itself is not the destination. To redirect funds from their intended purpose sets a dangerous precedent for Missouri’s tourism industry."
Tobey echoes former Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau director Lorah Steiner, who for years cautioned against allowing elected officials access to convention and tourism funds for projects tangentially related to tourism. Airports, bus depots, train stations, and other transportation gateways, Steiner maintained, must be self-supporting through ticket sales and directly allocated funds.
What's more, the tourism industry should not have to subsidize non-tourism travel, the argument goes. While tourists often travel through airports, so do millions of non-tourists, including business travelers and family visitors.
Mayor McDavid has proposed raising the lodging tax paid by Columbia’s hospitality industry from 4%, to 7%, a 75 percent increase, some or all of which would improve or replace the airport’s terminal. The Columbia Hospitality Association, which represents most of the city’s 35 hotels, motels and bed & breakfast operations, has steadfastly opposed the plan since it was announced.NEIGHBORS PLAN TO PROTEST: Giant new subdivision next to Rock Bridge State Park65 homes and 11 duplexes meet pristine wilderness and angry neighborsCOLUMBIA, 12/3/12 (Beat Byte) -- A subdivision planned by former KOMU TV news anchor Sarah Hill and husband Rob Hill has neighbors planning to protest.Known as Parkside Estates, the subdivision would be one of Columbia's largest housing projects in years. It takes its name from a location some residents consider especially worrisome: next to Rock Bridge State Park."The plan calls for 65 houses and 11 duplexes with a density of 3 houses per acre," said area resident Sandy McCann. "We are concerned about density, traffic, and land having urban style development next to our state park."
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We're also the area's only all-digital news source. No dead trees or plastic baggies here. Because we're green, you save green!LEAVING ON A HIGH NOTE: Remarkable legislation caps Anthony's last Council meetingAmending the city's constitution to prevent eminent domain abuseCOLUMBIA, 12/3/12 (Beat Byte) -- For national and historic significance, few pieces of municipal legislation can beat the Columbia City Council's unanimous vote to place a City Charter amendment before voters next April that would severely limit the use of eminent domain and blight designations for private development.
The vote capped 5th Ward Councilwoman Helen Anthony's brief but classy tenure, during which she fought on behalf of her constituents over some of the city's most controversial policy initiatives in years, from Ward gerrymandering to EEZ.READ ALL ABOUT IT!
DINING ROOM GATHERING: Timely play ends season for CoMo's Berlin Theatre
Generations of white privilege gradually fade around the dining room tableCOLUMBIA, 12/3/12 (Revue) -- Amidst all the Obama/Romney post-election analysis, A.R. Gurney's The Dining Room -- now playing at Columbia's Berlin Theatre -- couldn't be more timely.
Leading a strong cast, the play's richest roles belong to Ed Hanson and Thiago Palma, evolving male patriarchs forced to cope with senility, old age, death, and in a standout quasi-monologue, Palma's reaction to rumors of closeted homosexuality that threaten to tarnish the good family name.READ ALL ABOUT IT!ALMETA CRAYTON: Starts political career with big Trib endorsement -- Part 3 of a series
1990s support for police review board illustrated prescient thinking
COLUMBIA, 12/3/12 (Beat Byte) -- "If at first you don't succeed..." is an adage Almeta Crayton has taken to heart. The former 3-term Columbia City Councilwoman -- who just wrapped another successful Everyone Eats Thanksgiving event -- lost her first bid to join the Council in 1996.
But three years later she was back, with a rousing endorsement from none other than Columbia Daily Tribune publisher Hank Waters."Almeta’s time has come," he wrote. "I believe she would be a very good city council member."Crayton won a three-way race with 46% of the vote, running on a platform that included support for a civilian police review board, illustrating both her plain-spoken manner and prescient foresight.
READ ALL ABOUT IT!
RUMOR'S OF PINKEL'S DEMISE: Much exaggerated, but broadcast by St. Louis CBS stationMainstream news runs with a fan forum rumorST. LOUIS, 12/3/12 (Beat Byte) -- A tantalizing story about Mizzou football coach Gary Pinkel that helped feed a firestorm of rumors has brought the wrath of Mizzou fans down on CBS television affiliate KMOV in St. Louis.
The story -- titled "Rumors: Pinkel could be headed for unemployment" -- originated on the popular TigerBoard, an online fan forum abuzz with chatter about Pinkel's future after an inauspicious SEC debut.
"Gary Pinkel (GP) was given a very specific outline of what was expected of this football program, and then an ultimatum after the Vandy game for how the season needed to finish," the story explained, quoting a Tiger Board post from a a source KMOZ reporter JJ Bailey considered credible. "Obviously, failed miserably on both accounts. There will indeed be staff changes, and GP is pushing back against them. This is the reason his job is not as safe as most think."
READ ALL ABOUT IT
http://www.columbiaheartbeat.com/index.php/news/headlines/405-112312FOOD ALLERGY DETECTIVES: New entrants in Columbia's growing technology startup sectorMizzou grads start company that uses genomics tools to identify food allergens
COLUMBIA, 12/3/12 (Beat Byte) -- A business that looks for food allergy-causing materials in natural and genetically-modified seeds is another new entrant in Columbia's growing technology startup sector.Founded in 2011, PepPro Analytics on S. Providence uses so-called "targeted proteomics" -- the protein version of genomics -- to characterize and quantify proteins that might cause food allergies. Adverse responses to food proteins, food allergies can cause minor allergic reactions such as dermatitis or lead to major allergic reactions such as anaphylactic shock and death.READ ALL ABOUT IT!
HEAR YE! HEAR YE! Public forum to address climate change
Climate change and your health: A public forum
How will the increasingly hot summers impact the health of people in Missouri and what can we do about it? Find answers at a free public forum: Climate Change and Our Health.
Thursday Dec. 6
7:00 p.m. (Refreshments 6:30),
Columbia Public Library Friends Room
Rebecca Roesslet, Social Services Supervisor, Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services
Allison Kellenberger, RN
Dr. Dick Parker, Biologist
David Lile, KFRU radio, will moderate. For more information contact Win Colwill: 445-4663