Should Michigan Taxpayer’s Be In The Business Of Owning A Battle Creek Hotel?
It is a very simple question, should U.S. governmental units (local, state, federal) use residents' taxpayer dollars to directly purchase and run those private businesses?
If the answer is yes the next question would be which type of businesses and what goals must they reach to continue to run a private business?
If a group like Battle Creek Unlimited sets up a private subsidiary that owns an asset that they acquired does that change the equation? If Battle Creek Unlimited uses a lot of taxpayer money to invest in the asset does that then change the equation?
Battle Creek Unlimited acquired the building in November 2020.
According to Battle Creek Unlimited:
”Our services are centered around our mission, by assisting new and growing companies or those looking to relocate to find resources they need to build their business. This includes not only site selection, but also redevelopment assistance, workforce research, access to financing and other incentives or resources to help them make the most of their investments in Battle Creek.”
According to reporting by the Michigan Capitol Confidential Michigan State Representatives and Senators just gave the city of Battle Creek $2 million taxpayer dollars to give as an “enhancement grant” or gift depending on how you look at it, to help pay for the renovation of their Battle Creek hotel.
We are informed that after millions of dollars in renovations are completed Battle Creek Unlimited will then ask Hilton DoubleTree hotel to run the hotel. The $2 million "enhancement grant" from the state was in their state budget bill labeled “Battle Creek Unlimited for the renovation of the McCamly Plaza Hotel property.”
Will the new hotel bring enough tax dollars to Battle Creek and Michigan to justify this and other grants? We do not know and we also do not know if there are benchmarks that this new relationship must make. My guess is there are none because government officials are playing with other people's money.
I understand that a nice hotel in Downtown Battle Creek is needed. The question is it needed enough to use so much taxpayer money? In the end, will the taxes generated from the hotel offset the amount of taxpayer money being used to renovate it?
We come down to the same question we have asked in the past. Should governments give tax abatements or in the Battle Creek instance use current taxpayer funds to attract business to their area?
You may think that they should not, but if one does not, the other will and there go the jobs and tax base. I think the problem is these governmental units and businesses are rarely held to any criteria which would then force them to pay back the taxpayer cash either given to or not charged to the businesses. I would like to see more controls in place to determine who does get the free taxpayer cash and what goals must they make in order to keep it.
I have been informing my listener on my radio show that back in March the Democrat’s passed the biggest slush fund in the history of the world in the amount of $1,900,000,000,000.00 dollars. Did you know that Battle Creek was given $30 million of those future taxpayer dollars from the world's largest slush fund hypocritically named the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)?
Ask yourself why did the city of Battle Creek need over 60% of one year's budget because of Covid?
Did they or any other local or state have to prove direct harm from Whitmer’s closing of our economy to get future taxpayer money?
What a stupid question of course they did not, it was just given to them to spend and more than likely waste.
A side note to all of you who live in Battle Creek or spend time in Battle Creek. According to Battle Creek’s latest federal 990 reports, they have been given government grants in the amount of:
- $2.7 million in 2015
- $2.83 million in 2016
- $2.6 million in 2017
- $2.5 million in 2018
Have you seen the difference in downtown Battle Creek?