Picking the winners and losers
Pima County has negotiated a number of deals which clearly favor an individual or company without offering similar options to their competitors. It should not be the County’s practice to pick winners or losers – simply provide a level playing field where taxes are low, the expected services are provided to residents including those who are business owners.
We should make Pima County a place that attracts businesses on our merits – not the millions of dollars we can offer to attract them. If millions of dollars can attract businesses here, millions more can easily move the business away.
We need to address the reasons businesses frequently choose not to grow in Pima County.
- World View
- Pima County residents provided a $15 Million building, launch pad and other equipment for World View. World View enjoys below market rent on the building, and at the end of their lease will own the building, thanks to the Pima County taxpayers.
- World View was promoted as a company that would launch tourists to the edge of space for $75,000. In the agreement, World View was to have 400 employees, but recently laid off some of their staff and currently have fewer than 100 employees.
- Pima County taxpayers funded a risky enterprise while struggling to keep up with the property taxes imposed on their own small places of business.
- Green Valley Golf Course
- The current Pima County District 4 supervisor pushed for a failed golf course in Green Valley to become a public park. After being approved, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, unilaterally forgave the former owner a $100,000 tax bill.
- Bowling Alley
- The County not only purchased a bowling alley for more than its appraised value, it also 1) agreed to remove the asbestos at county expense; 2) is allowing the former owner to use the building for a year rent free; and 3) will use taxpayer money to remove and return the bowling lanes to the former owner at the end of the rent free year.
- Diamond Ventures
- The current Pima County District 4 supervisor supported mortgaging our county buildings using Certificates of Participation (COPs) to raise $16 Million to give to a developer (Diamond Ventures) for building out infrastructure for it Rocking K development. All other developers must develop their infrastructure at their own expense.
- Millions of dollars for auto
- The current Pima County District 4 supervisor supported these expenditures. When these expenditures were questioned by Supervisor Miller, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry indicated the money was for warranty work. When Supervisor Miller then stated – “I thought warranty work was free”, the county administrator responded that the money was for those vehicles which were out of warranty. Following up, Supervisor Miller stated – “I thought that is why we built an $18 Million County facility”… Does this look fishy to you too?
As your Pima County District 4 Supervisor, I would be looking out for you – the residents of Pima county and the businesses many of you own. During my term of service, the business playing field will be fair to all businesses.