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home : opinions : opinions   May 26, 2016

12/29/2012 6:22:00 AM
Open Forum: 'Creative funding' on L-P sports complex another slam to taxpayers

I am writing this letter in response to the recent article regarding the L-P Board having to defend their plan for the new proposed athletic complex.
Let me start by saying that as a retired school psychologist I am quite aware of the financial difficulties that plague public schools and in most situations I would find myself in support of plans that improve the educational opportunities for students. However in the case of this proposed athletic complex I find myself on the other side of the coin and in opposition to the construction of this new facility. My opposition is twofold.
While I am not privy to all of the information and documentation that led to the Board’s decision to pursue this project, I have a hard time conceiving of such a huge investment especially in light of the current economic difficulties that many families in L-P attendance area are currently undergoing. While I might applaud the board for what appears to be their forward thinking in this matter, the extent of what they propose and the costs that will have to be endured by all of us who are taxpayers at the present time seems, at the least, excessive. I believe that the L-P board needs to do a much better job of explaining to our communities what are the needs that justify this tremendous outlay. I am in agreement with Mike Kasap’s observation that there are a large number of people in this community that simply cannot justify this particular outlay at this time.
But of even greater difficulty to me, is board president Jim Quesse’s response as written in the NewsTribune that the board will be using “creative funding sources” to pay for this project. He then explains that this project will not put “one penny of burden on the tax levy” and I am assuming that he refers to the tax levy only incurred directly by the high school. Later it explains in the NewsTribune article that one of the “creative funding sources” would be $1 million that the city of La Salle would contribute for this building project through creation of, yet another, Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. What irritates me in this situation, it still leaves the taxpayer footing the bill — the proposed TIF only shifts the tax burden from one taxing body to another. It leaves me with that old adage about government and politicians that instead of taking money out of my right pocket now the government has chosen to take money out of my left. Mr. Quesse may want to call that “creative funding” but it still leaves the taxpayer holding the bag and that I resent.
This whole issue of what is fair taxing policy seems to have buffaloed both our state and federal governments but it is very disturbing to hear our local governmental and elected officials singing the same song. When do they realize that it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that whether you take the money out of my right or left pocket or whether you pass the tax burden from one taxing body to another, in the end it still comes out the same — as a taxpayer I get stuck with the bill. That is an attitude that needs to change in this community, state and nation if we are to start solving the financial mess that we are currently in.
Paul Muskopf,
Funding for the proposed L-P athletic complex will come from the “Creative funding source” TIF.
Question: Prior to the formation of TIF where was revenue from such properties placed?
Lincoln Marincic,

Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: MotherEarthSpeaks

A full disclosure on the details is due the public.
This secrecy invites the idea of special interest, conflict of interest, manipulation, and distortion.
Please post all parties involved, what they will gain, and how much.
The intracacies of financial dealings are only a mystery when there are hidden dangers and agendas.
Open government, please.
Trust will abound.

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