Showing posts with label business incentives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business incentives. Show all posts

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Sen. Jack Donahue R
The Louisiana Legislature is poised to take $4 million of your tax dollars away from supporting disabled Louisianians in order to give it to a corporate indycar event at a private racetrack owned by a multi-millionaire. That is not spin:
“We’re taking money away from the disabled community and giving it to motor sports?” Claitor asked during the committee meeting.

“The answer to your question, Sen. Claitor, is yes,” said Sen. Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, the committee’s chairman, in response.
Sen. Dan Claitor - R
NOLA Motorsports is owned by Laney Chouest, a multi-millionaire co-owner of Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). He seems like a fine enough chap, one devoted to building a world class racetrack. Now, of course, he’s done it with his own fortune. Good for him. He even opened it to the public, so normal folks could go racing or go-karting around his prize.
At least Jack Donahue is honest to admit that he takes from the disabled to give to the rich. I'll give him that, though he appears to have no heart.  He hopes to find the money to replace what's been taken away from the disabled.  We shall see.

Of course, the governor can't break a promise to a wealthy supporter.  Jindal is forever paying out money to draw business to Louisiana. I posted earlier today about bringing the bananas back to the Port of New Orleans and paying a fertilizer plant (Oh joy!) to build in Louisiana. Jindal preaches loud and long about the free market, but why then does he pay companies to establish businesses in the state?  The payments are euphemistically labeled "incentives", but how is that the free market in operation?  And how do the governor and the legislature justify such a policy to disabled citizens and the parents of disabled children, not to speak of their own consciences.


If the free market is free, why do we have to pay companies to move to Louisiana?
The Port of New Orleans is set to regain its position as one of the main entryways for the billions of bananas imported to the United States each year, a windfall officials hope will create a few hundred new jobs and boost shipping container traffic in New Orleans by as much as 15 percent.

Jindal cited three types of incentives that eventually helped persuade the company to relocate. He said Louisiana will give Chiquita $11.3 million to help offset the company’s costs over the next 10 years. That grant will be performance-based, tied to the number of units the company actually ends up shipping through the port, with clawback provisions in case of shortfalls.
(My emphasis)
Chiquita Brands is the old United Fruit Company, which once owned the governments of several Central American countries.   My father was born in Honduras when his parents were visiting relatives there who worked for United Fruit.

Here's another.
AM Agrigen LLC, a Delaware company formed in 2013, has an option on 650 acres in St. Charles Parish as the site of a proposed $1.2 billion fertilizer plant.

LED said it began working with AM Agrigen on the project in October 2012. To secure the project, Louisiana offered the company a performance-based $5.6 million grant to offset infrastructure costs of the project. AM Agrigen would receive help from the state’s LED FastStart workforce training program and is expected to use the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.  (My emphasis)
Great care must be taken by fertilizer plants to prevent air pollution and soil pollution.  The plant will be located near the Mississippi River, the source of drinking water for a large population.  Should any of the chemical containers used in the manufacturing process spring a leak,  river water contamination would result.  Further there is the danger of explosion and fire unless fertilizer plants are duly inspected and held accountable for maintenance of equipment and safe working conditions.

Louisiana's history of weak regulation and oversight of manufacturers is less than encouraging for citizens who live near the the construction site of the plant, but I hope for the best.  I understand the need for well-paying jobs, but the jobs should not come at the cost of quality of life for those who live near the plant.

Photo from Wikipedia.