The biggest welfare queen is corporate America and we get a front-row seat to it in Fargo. The Kilbourne Group asks for and receives an awful lot of welfare money in the form of tax incentives. The same goes for Roers with their behemoth apartment complex and St. Paul's Newman Center in the Roosevelt neighborhood. Maybe these companies needed encouragement to build in Fargo in the past, but that isn't as true anymore.
Our downtown is bustling. The customer base is strong and the demand is high. No further tax incentives are needed for Kilbourne. North Dakota State University is growing and failing to provide housing for their students. No need for greedy money grabbing from Roers. They'll build where there is a demand because there is a demand. The fact that we allowed them to buy houses, let them fall into ruin so that they could call it a blighted area and ask our city for tax incentives is repugnant to me. Everyone is acting like they're doing the Roosevelt neighborhood a favor by destroying the neighborhood for their own profit like flimflam men.
- $76 million worth of downtown projects seek tax exemption review
- Controversial Newman Center project gains the green light
When are we and our commissioners going to wake up and recognize that developers don't need corporate welfare to build? From the outside it often plays out like the biggest developers get to do an end run around the rules everyone else is following and the Fargo City Commission enables this behavior by bending over backwards to give tax incentives, change zoning, or whatever other nonsense comes up.
I'm so often at odds with Commissioner Tony Gehrig; yet, here I am in perfect agreement with him. It makes me wonder if his fellow commissioners receive kickbacks from Kilbourne and Roers. Do we have an ethics problem here?