Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Beach Company Suckers CCSD School Board in 2009 Tax Deal

From December 2009:

When will the national media pick up on the idiocies perpetrated by the Charleston County School Board? Surely not all school boards can be this dumb, or should I say self-serving?

Such was my reaction to Sunday's article on the potential creation of a special tax zone for the Beach Company to develop a large portion of Johns Island. See the blithely-headlined School District Would See Immediate Gain.

For $350,000 (probably the yearly cost of Superintendent McGinley's transportation) economically-challenged Board members such as Ruth Jordan are willing to forgo forever millions of future tax dollars from property taxes on this major development by one of Charleston's most well-connected development companies. On the other hand, Board member Chris Fraser's remarks are simply disingenuous: he's looking out for his own term on the Board, not the interests of taxpayers.

You can't make this stuff up fast enough to keep pace with its escalating stupidity.

Never mind that such tax zones are supposed to provide incentives to redevelop blighted areas instead of providing an easy way for developers to pay back loans to develop pristine land. Such a zone presupposes that, without tax breaks, a large portion of Johns Island would never be developed. Yeah, right.
It's a sweet deal for the Beach Company. As the reporter explains, "Imagine you're building a house, and the government agrees not only to loan you funding for construction, but allows you to pay it back with money you would have otherwise paid in property taxes." Apparently, Jordan and Fraser find the county's schools to be so well-funded that increased property tax totals are unnecessary.

We can understand why the City Council might be interested in seeing the Beach Company pay for infrastructure, but the position of members of the CCSD hierarchy is untenable.

The rest of the taxpayers of Charleston County should rise up in revolt before the School Board sells its soul for a mere $350,000.

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