To the editor:
As someone who has a good deal of family in Lawrence and as someone who spends a fair amount of time each year in Lawrence, I read Mark Fagan's Dec. 24 article, "Deal would be record for city" about Berry Plastics Corp.'s proposed investment and tax break in Lawrence, with much interest. These days, it seems corporations tout their commitment to involvement in the communities they are located in. Yet, it also seems that any time corporations want to expand, they look for the city that allows them to pay the fewest taxes.
In the case of Berry Plastics, they are initially asking for a 90 percent tax break. It seems that a company with 26 factories worldwide could afford to pay taxes to the communities they claim to be committed to; taxes to help pay for the roads, police and ultimately the infrastructure that they benefit from as much as anybody else.
True, Berry Plastics' expansion will definitely bring economic benefits, regardless of how many taxes they pay. But there are economic benefits from all new investment in the city, whether it's $58,000 or $58 million. Yet, these smaller investments are never deemed worthy of huge tax exemptions. It is high time we start holding corporations responsible for paying their fair share for the infrastructure and services that they use like everyone else.