Archive for Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Real commitment

December 28, 2005


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.

James Clark,

Austin, Texas


Richard Heckler 12 years, 6 months ago

If not guess who makes up the difference...

Ragingbear 12 years, 6 months ago

Although motivated by greed, and the fact that Lawrence is bad about handing out tax breaks to everyone that ask for them, there are some positive notes.

With the Shrub damaged economy finally starting to mend itself, this will be good for Lawrence. A number of new jobs, increased benefits, and some more attraction for other businesses..

sweetpeagj 12 years, 6 months ago

Have any of you worked for this family oriented business? I have and they are all about the bottom line. Not the employees that do the work. What about the whole department that got shut down and all those families were now out of work and struggling. The reason for that? They were able to give those jobs to another company who could do it for cheaper. They weren't concerned about the Lawrence work that they decided to take out of Lawrence. Also, they hired over 100 illegals and didn't bat an eye. The hiring staff they had..another temp agency..was floating these people throught with out work cards.

craigers 12 years, 6 months ago

Since the economic benefit from a $58 M investment is that much bigger than the 58,000 then yes it is worthy of a tax break. Give them incentive to help out Lawrence, it is all give and take. If corporations didn't get tax breaks in some cities and did in others, then you can know that the corporation will walk away from the first city. The whole outsourcing deal is over dramatized and it is our faults as the consumers. I want things as cheap as I can get them with not really sacrificing quality and usually that means the labor must be cheaper, so you outsource to somebody that does a certain occupation better and more efficiently. Give them the tax break and the jobs created will have a long-term economic benefit for Lawrence.

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