However well intended, we have a serious problem with fee deferrals, job training credits, landing fee waivers, and all other forms of “corporate welfare.”
With promises of “stimulate the economy” along with “job creation” businesses are scamming local, state, and federal government agencies.
The GUARDIAN recently filed a public records request with the airport to learn how much the “enterprise fund” (that means run on fees rather than general fund taxes) has discounted, waived, or offered as credits to airlines, rental companies, etc.
We also asked for a summary of overdue invoices to airlines and all other users. And finally, write offs or waivers during the past two years.
Boise’s legal department informed the GUARDIAN no summaries exist and the law doesn’t require them to maintain records in such a format. Further, there is no requirement for them to create a new record. One would think a couple of keystrokes on a computer would reveal the information requested.
We don’t know of many businesses that cannot tell the amount of past due funds they have in an ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE file. The simplest Quicken program would yield that info, but we were dealing with local government, not a small business.
They did confess to waiving $45,449 in landing fees for Allegiant Airlines to help them out with Las Vegas and Honolulu service. BOI also wrote off $24,074 on bad debt to American Eagle’s bankruptcy.
The airport issue pales in comparison to the potent sour note unveiled at the new Chobani
plant in Twin Falls by IDAHO REPORTER. Seems the new yogurt company gets state job creation subsidies and they are in the midst of laying off workers at the same time…a whole new culture!
Bottom line: government payments or fee waivers seldom really work out. Some examples include Micron tax concessions, Albertson incentives, Boise Valley Economic Partnership multi million plans to recruit high paying jobs, spending $150,000 in United Airlines magazine, giving away $10,000 to the Troy whatever ballet for a few hours billing on a NY theater marquee. All aimed at creating jobs and business. There seems to be no end to the Impossible Dream.
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