Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Smith Series: Question 2

Editor's Note:  As promised, this is the 2nd edition of "The Smith Series".  The question below was proposed at the Herald/LEED PAC forum in October.  Commissioner Smith's answer to the questions will run every Wednesday and Friday until completed.

Intuitive Commentary by Lee Co's Newest Commissioner...Mr. Kirk Smith

Question #2:  Economic Development - Part 1

Caterpillar has been a wildly successful operation in Lee County.  Economic Incentives played a key role in retaining the company and helped open the door to an expansion which resulted in the creation of 365 jobs in Lee County.  Ingersoll Rand, the manufacturer of Bobcat loaders, is a direct competitor to Caterpillar, Ingersoll Rand wants to come to Lee County for the same reasons Caterpillar did and will bring 300 jobs with them, but expect a similar economic incentive package to locate here.  What’s your opinion about a local incentives package for Ingersoll Rand? (1 min.)

Answer:  Fact – in the past ten years Lee County has given out over $7.5 million in economic incentives.  We have to show for those “investments” is the highest property taxes and highest unemployment than our neighboring four counties.  Government should not be in the business of deciding who the winners and losers in business unfortunately the losers are the tax payers.  Government sponsored bribery is wrong.  You want to provide economic incentives – lower taxes for everyone!

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