Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Quinn Says Good Things About Destination Bill

Gov. Pat. Quinn called the Marion destination legislation that passed the General Assembly last month "very important" when asked by reporters last night in Charleston, Illinois.

He also described it as a jobs bill but still needs time to study it before signing.

Quinn, who was speaking at Eastern Illinois University, told reporters the legislation "is a jobs proposal" and that jobs are the "No. 1 issue."

The bill, SB 2093, would create the state's first STAR Bonds district, in order to land a major tourism destination and retail development on Marion's north side.

As it's an election year and he needs the support of Southern Illinois voters, so it's expected that he will sign it.

However opposition is growing from the state public employees union, AFSMCE, proving once again that what's good for public sector unions are usually bad for everyone else.

Opponents have argued the state's financial problems make it a questionable time to divert public funds for a private development.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union is urging Quinn to kill the measure, saying the state cannot absorb the loss of tax dollars.

"This is the worst possible time for a tax giveaway to a private corporate developer," said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall. "Its terrible timing and the governor should veto this bill."

Apparently a terrible recession with high unemployment is a bad time to try to create jobs in this state, jobs, which when taxed, provide the funds to pay the wages of said public sector unions.

AFSCME on the other hand would rather the state raise income taxes 50 percent, or more.

As to diverting public revenues, there's almost no way it will divert a dime of public revenues in the next fiscal year, as Marion will be lucky to see a groundbreaking that soon, let alone see the development up and running by that time.

Secondly, you can't divert what isn't there, which would be the sales tax increment generated from this development.

Back in 1966, the State of Florida bent over backwards to provide incentives to the Walt Disney Company in the form of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

How did that work out? I think we all know.

Although newspapers keep repeating Cabela's and Great Wolf Lodge as possible tenants, they're forgetting the important aspect of the "entertainment user", or theme park, that's a requirement to get the STAR Bonds district created in the first place.

This thing is bigger than most people realize. If successful, it's bigger than the Southern Illinois Miners and the mall development. It's bigger than the '82 Tornado. It's all those things and the coming of the interstates combined. Mayor Butler knows it (hence the tears in his eyes when it passed). John Bradley knows it, and so do a few others. The potential for Southern Illinois is off the scale.

No comments: