SALISBURY, MD – Is Salisbury returning to the fiscal disaster experienced under the now infamous “Dream Team”? Only time will tell, but it appears that the huge sums thrown at the Jacob Day campaign by national real estate interests may be starting to pay off certain special interests.
A letter to the editor in this morning’s Daily Times by Chamber of Commerce president (and real estate developer) Brad Gillis outline the benefits already starting to flow to real estate developers … and promises more to come:
Together, the Chamber and the city successfully collaborated and amended the city’s paving policy. This legislation, Resolution 1312, gave greater discretion to the Department of Public Works and its professional engineers, thus creating a quality process and end product for both the developers and the citizens of Salisbury.
We were also successful in amending the city’s policy that required the warranty and maintenance of new infrastructure to be bonded for five years; no other cities researched required a five-year bond.
Without further delay, it’s time to act on another community win: an equivalent dwelling unit incentive zone.
We support the city moving forward with this Incentive Zone, which would create a bank of credits to be used for the development of the downtown area and enterprise zones.
Having this tool will enhance the pro-business climate in our great city without costing the citizens a single dollar. Salisbury’s comprehensive plan calls for high-density growth in our downtown area; this is the time and the place to create such banks.
Approving this incentive zone will send a message to local, regional and national builders and developers: “Downtown Salisbury is primed for both commercial and mixed use developments.”
The “Incentive Zone” of which Gillis speaks is designed to subsidize residential developers, not attract employers. While Gillis applauds these subsidies (not surprising since he directly benefits), there is no mention of the across the board pay hikes proposed by his ally Mr. Day. These, and other spending hikes, will ultimately result in tax increases on the citizens and businesses of Salisbury.
Does Mr. Gillis believe that tax hikes will attract business? Of course not. These “incentives” are not pro-business; they are simply a little league version of crony capitalism. As Salisbury goes back to “giving away the store”, who benefits? The very people who spent tens of thousands of dollars to elect their champion – Jacob Day.