Yes to LNG, No to the CEP
Since the inevitability of the Jordan Cove Project is becoming apparent, many in the community are excited at the proposal of the real, and the perceived economic activity this facility will generate. With the expectation of promises and change, support for the LNG has grown.
However, a good percentage of the taxpayers have a serious problem with the way the Port of Coos Bay, the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend, and the Coos County Board of Commissioners are going to divvy up the property taxes between the groups involved with the Community Enhancement Plan.
The most valuable part of the project for the LNG is in an Enterprise Zone and the local officials are going to allow the owners of the company to keep all the property taxes for "almost" 20 years. In-turn, the business is going to charge the people of Coos County interest to give that money back to the community through a process of fees, so the political elite can put it into a nonprofit they and their cronies have control over.
The governor appointed politicians on the Port of Coos Bay are doing this as a way to circumvent the equalization process that back-fills the money lost from the school district to the Enterprise Zone. The state coffers per the student compensate school districts and by law must have the budget to allot for every student.
In the private market, businesses and individuals would face fines and jail time for trying to rig the property tax system. Today, that is the standard practice of business for local governments. It still amounts to a way to take advantage of a flawed process and game the system, no matter how the political class explains the formula.
In a regular property tax structure, most of the funding would revert to several other taxing districts, which the district would designate to the basic, necessary, services that everyone in the county uses. These districts will have to raise property taxes when the districts need to replace the funding to provide for the influx of people who will demand these services.
The Coos Bay fire department, the county Sheriff’s Department, and the county itself are just a few taxing districts that would normally feed off the money provided by the property taxes collected from the Jordan Cove Project. Unless, the politicians devise a way of corralling the money to a centralized, unsecured, nonprofit, which will be used for stockpiling discretionary funding to serve as a petty cash drawer for the politically connected.
The Community Enhancement Plan might be good for Coos County’s In-Crowd, but once implemented, those on the out will be in the cold.
Keep up-to-date on this issue and more at
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