Sunday, May 17, 2009
Developer asks for huge tax break
According to today's AJC, without a $52 million subsidy, Sembler says his site in Brookhaven will not be finished. Sembler is asking DeKalb County School System, DeKalb County Commissioners, and Eugene Walker, the authority chairman for help. (Walker received at least $18,000 in donations to his school board campaign from Sembler company associates last year). Sembler has a reputation for buying politicians. I do not know if this is a fact but I do know that the internet is full of interesting information to read on the topic.
The AJC states “Eugene Walker, the authority chairman, said his colleagues would vote on the matter at a yet-to-be-scheduled meeting in June, though there is some uncertainty whether they have all the discretion. Walker, who was elected to the school board last year, said the authority would, as a courtesy, seek the support of his colleagues in the school system and of the County Commission.”
(IMO) First, I do not understand why Eugene Walker is allowed to be on the development authority board and a school board member. On top of that, why is he the chairman? It is bad enough he is on the committee. This is such a conflict of interest to the taxpayers of DeKalb County. If DeKalb does this for Sembler, it cannot discriminate against other companies. It would have to consider all companies who are in financial situation and currently we would be in a mess. I believe if the deal was not made up front, it should not be made on the back end.
Do you feel a major developer that has come up with a tin cup to DeKalb County begging for $52 million in tax breaks should get the tax breaks? Do you feel this is fair to the minority companies in Dekalb County who do not have the money to pay out money to Eugene Walker's campaign and to other political campaigns for possible political favors? Should Eugene Walker have been put in this situation by the county commissioners? Did the county commissioners make a bad decision by allowing Eugene Walker to be on the school board and chairman of the housing authority board?