February 6, 2014

Letter: Another good deal gone bad?

— Tax allocation districts (TADs) will clean up the city and county to the point of eliminating blighted or depressed properties. But wait, the reason the referendum didn’t pass in the last election, according to the county commission chairman, was because it wasn’t explained clearly enough.

Or, maybe it was explained too well. For the second time around we just might listen for the lines like ones resounding out of Washington. Surely though, there won’t be as many high-tech glitches in the roll out of property acquisitions as there was in those other infamous lies.

We frequently hear stories about cities floating bonds to build stadiums or sports arenas while the officials banter over costs. Not much is said about the millions of dollars being paid to the teams, the team owners or individual players.

Consider the white elephant sitting on the hill overlooking Dalton that was to have enhanced the local coffers. The field of that dream never materialized. How many cities are still soaking taxpayers for money that should not have been spent? I can think of three such cities, so I’m convinced there are more.

With the waste or misappropriations in mind and the fact that business investments are better left to private enterprise, TADs could be just another good deal gone bad. TADs are an economic development tool that allow a government to define an area as blighted or underdeveloped. My views are known for opposing government intrusion into private lives, especially when it comes to violation of constitutional rights.

Of late the various media are full of reports of civil, human and property rights being violated, along with a serious lacking of human ethics and intelligence. School lunches thrown in the garbage because students couldn’t pay for them is a sad example. Taxpayers paid for that food in the first place. Supposedly educated persons chose to waste food while claiming to educate our children.

Given those kinds of conduct in our current culture tells me that letting government team up with property developers is unwise. TADs have the potential for involving too much government in private enterprise and too much gamble in taxpayers’ money.

Lawrence Headrick

Tunnel Hill