Death and Tax Breaks (well no death, mostly just tax breaks)

| March 2, 2012 | 0 Comments

Mark Chipman

Today in the Free Press Bartley Kives had a piece about True North getting 6.9 Million in city and provincial subsidies. With that number to raise to almost 11 million once 90 VLT’s get transfered to True North.

As you can imagine the vocal minority is up in arms. “How dare they give our hard earned tax dollars to millionaires and billionaires.” That refrain we be followed by “I knew we’d have to pay for the NHL” which will be closely followed by “taxes, ughh taxes, me mad, ughhh taxes! Taxes!”

The comment section of the Free Press blew up and people bemoaned the use of tax payer dollars to help pay millionaires.

The children, won’t somebody think of the children!

From the Article:

Winnipeg’s 2012 operating budget calls for True North Sports & Entertainment to collect $5.8 million in entertainment-funding taxes, which the company remits to the city and then gets back in the form of a refund. This money is included in the price of Jets tickets and does not affect the city’s bottom line, although the city enables the club to levy the 10 per cent charge.

True North also gets a break on their property taxes due to designating MTSC as a recreational facility and not at commercial venture. All together this adds up to roughly 6.9 million. They will also be eligible to collect up to 4 Million a year from 90 VLTS that will be transferred to sports bar in the area.

As you can see not a dime of tax payers money goes to True North or the Jets still that doesn’t stop the over reacting crowd to get their underwear in a knot.

Governments give businesses tax breaks and incentives all the time. Ever heard of New Flyer Industries? How about Ikea, have you heard of them? Both of these PRIVATE businesses have received millions in tax breaks, subsidies and incentives. This is just the way governments work. Part of their job is to attract and grow business. In order to compete you need to make your area as attractive as possible.

There was nothing earth shattering in this article. All of this was stated and made public long ago its just that the city budget is now being released and this is an easy Target to take shots at.

The economic impact of the Return of The Jets out weighs and tax incentives they may receive.

1) People buy Jets merchandise and pay taxes on that

2) Businesses in the area grow and customers pay taxes on the purchases they make in the area.

3) Property values go up and the city collects more in property taxes.

4) The Jets directly and indirectly employ hundreds of people who all pay taxes.

5) The city’s profile increases and attracts more businesses who in turn pay taxes and employ people who pay taxes.

Handing out tax breaks is just part of the reality that we live it today. Its the cost of doing business and to have the Free Press write an article where it makes this out to be a huge aberration is irresponsible and just gotcha journalism.

Next year at this time Kives will have a piece where he feigns outrage over the Human Rights Museum or the Forks or any of the other countless businesses and entities that accept tax breaks from the government. This is an easy story to write that is sure to get a certain segment of the population frothing at the mouth.

The truth is that this is just the way the sausage gets made. Canada’s economy survived the global meltdown because the government was still willing to work with business to help promote growth. There has to be a private/public partnership in place to get a lot of these giant projects off the ground. Governments invest in them because they know that the spin off effects can be huge and its worth the small amount of risk.

In this case there was no risk. They weren’t playing with house money they are just getting back monies that have already been spent on the product. If the Jets don’t exist then this revenue doesn’t either.

No one if funneling money to Mark Chipman. The city and the province and just doing what they have done hundreds of times in the past and will continue to do into the future. They are helping a business out that in the long run will take out way less then they put it.

Its just good business.

 

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Category: Jets News

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