Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Walter opposes Corporate Welfare

KOZ approval

Walter L. Griffith Jr., the Republican nominee for Luzerne County controller, is not pleased with votes to put new properties in tax-free Keystone Opportunity Zones.

“The same players get all the breaks. … This has got to stop,” Griffith said.

Luzerne County commissioners on Friday removed Hollenback Park in Wilkes-Barre from a KOZ and replaced the 26.5-acre property with 37 new properties. On Thursday, Wilkes-Barre City and the Wilkes-Barre Area School District approved the KOZ switch.

The Wilkes-Barre properties will lose KOZ status on Dec. 31, 2010. KOZ properties are exempt from property, business privilege, mercantile and earned income taxes. Properties in KOZs from extensions or swaps only get the tax-free status when developed and occupied.

“I see the school district is looking to levy a tax increase on the taxpayers as well,” Griffith said. “Maybe if we would stop the corporate welfare and stop the giveaways, the money would be there to help all the taxpayers.”

Amen to that.


Anonymous said...

does the controller have a role in these decisions?

Walter Griffith said...

The Controller has input at all meetings regarding the amount of money that is needed to balance the budget and is responsible to inform the Commissioners if this type of decision will directly affect the "Bottom Line" The Controller is a very important voice regarding the decisions that are made at the Commissioner meetings and needs to give quarterly reports so the Commissioners can be informed regarding spending and also reports to the Budget Director to inform them as well of any effect that this KOZ decision will have on the amount of income that will directly affect the taxpayers because of the need to increase taxes because of lack of tax revenue from properties that were producing tax income into the County Treasury.

Anonymous said...


Dan from Dallas said...

You are a moron Walter. KOZs are intended to bring business into the area to yield tax income to the municipality and the county. What you are saying is that you'd rather a lt remain vacant than generate income. You truly are a moron.