Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

March 17, 2013

Letters to the Editor: March 17, 2013

(Continued)

 

Where are the U.S. businesses in all this?

The saga of Tipton County tax abatements continues. A few years back, Cerberus Capital Management — headed by Dan Quayle, former vice president of the United States — brought the German company Daimler/Benz/Chrysler to Tipton and started the Getrag Transmission Plant. The Tipton County government’s get rich plan was to give tax abatements in exchange for 1,200 jobs. The results were that many local businesses went unpaid or went bankrupt. Then Cerberus and Daimler went on their merry way. They were no worse off than before they came. The transmission plant went unfinished with the lights left on.

Next, the Abound solar company from Colorado was offered another Tipton County government tax abatement plan and everyone was going to profit from 1,000 new jobs. The only results I saw were the lights remained burning in the plant 24/7, probably on solar energy.

Now, the third round of tax abatements has been offered in exchange for a new get rich plan for Tipton County’s pocketbook and 50 or so area farmers. Ironically, juwi Wind LLC is from Germany and has an American headquarters in, you guessed it, Colorado. Also, it’s good to note, the first lease signers of property in Prairie Township were landowning companies from Colorado and Kansas. They must have invested here because they had the desire to help the citizens of Tipton County. Did I forget to mention there is a promise of eight new jobs?

It would appear that foreign companies and the businessmen in Colorado have Tipton County on their radar. And I am sure they partnered with the Tipton County officials with the welfare of Tipton County’s citizens in mind.

From all I have read about the latest get-rich scheme, it appears the only people that might benefit from the wind are the health care professionals treating wind turbine syndrome and perhaps the local bankers counting all of Tipton government’s money.

There is also a recently announced fourth recipient of Tipton tax abatements in exchange for 850 jobs. The transmission plant now has a new Italian owner, Fiat. Perhaps they can succeed where others have failed. One other Italian company currently runs the state’s lottery system, so maybe the Italian business trend will be promising.

I guess my biggest question is where are all the American businesses? Why aren’t they investing in Tipton County? Why didn’t Tipton County give tax abatements to the area’s farmers long ago. Maybe some of that tax money would have been spent here instead of in a foreign country.

How long will it be before the governor of Indiana comes up north for another picture-taking visit? Perhaps this time he can have his picture taken with a German company’s officials under a wind turbine.

Russell Turk, Sharpsville

 

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