Big boxes never pay for themselves in taxes

Tue, 09/11/2007 - 3:11pm
By: Letters to the ...

Development, especially Big Box, is again a major issue.

We are hearing dire warnings against not going along with developers. As in, you don’t develop what they want, you might very well end up with a smokestack facility or they will give us businesses that are noisy and not desirable.

Or the biggie: The Big Developer always wins. Why even try?

Here is some Internet information for consideration at

Now, look at PTC.

Check out the amount of vacant retail space in PTC, a lot of which has been vacant for months, even years now.

Then ask yourself, when the retail space owners get desperate, who will they end up leasing to, if they can find anyone at all? What happens when the excess reaches the point some places will never be occupied again?

There is a lot of anger over a Goodwill coming to PTC at the old small Kroger location. Then the wondering begins if pawnshops and check cashing stores are next.

Right or wrong thinking, it is real. And it shows that despite all the community caring claims, big corporations really are only working for their own bottom lines and people know it.

Do you think we would even have to deal with this issue, morally, economically or otherwise, if there were not so many retail vacancies in PTC?

You have seen it yourself. What happens to old locations when big stores leave an area or move to a better location or new building? Or to the business locations they displace?

Yet, there are some candidates backing still more retail growth. Whether they label it new development or redevelopment, it is still development.

Nor is the growth backing limited to PTC. The support of selling WASA services to Coweta and Tyrone would enable them to have more and higher density growth, as well, which impacts PTC and commuter traffic.

Seriously, we have to first work on building the tax income and consumer base of PTC before wanting yet more development here. We have to have a need for new development, not development for development’s sake.

The simple reality is that PTC requires money to do all the needful things that come with maintenance and building of infrastructure within PTC. That money will come from somewhere or PTC will decline, physically and otherwise.

If that income is not from the stores and companies of PTC, then it will come from you, the citizens, via taxes. I know our property tax jumped this year.

Another simple reality is the PTC vision, Do we want to be another Northside or a community of neighborhoods? What do you want PTC to be?

PTC is out of balance. The developing is coming faster than the demand or infrastructure can handle. Having so many empty homes and retail spaces, along with traffic congestion, is hurting home values and city appeal.

Our “Best Place to Live” ranking has fallen from 8th to 84th, in one single year, under the current council’s actions. How much farther will it fall if our present course is maintained?

We must get perspective, vision and direction back into PTC. Or we lose the very heart and soul meaning of being PTC.

On the topic of growing the tax income and consumer base, the Chinese assembly plant locating here comes to mind.

Lacking sufficient information to be make more fully informed statements, I can only note some issues immediately.

On public involvement, the implications are we are just getting it. I hope this is wrong, since if not, the citizens have lost their right to public discourse, input and being part of the of approval process.

Traffic impact will be bad, no doubt to it. These facilities usually run 24/7, meaning three shift changes per day, so around 400 cars per change. Then add in increased heavy semi traffic, since their product is heavy. Not to mention other traffic by customers, sales personnel and so on.

There will probably be a major increase in train traffic. Trains are one of the best ways to transport such a product and the component parts to be assembled. This will include a lot of noise since car switching and engines stopping and starting, with heavy loads, is very noisy.

As for city revenue impact, are these workers going to live here? Will they pull down wages that will actually allow them to buy homes here? I doubt it.

What about the 10-year and other tax deferments? Who picks up the money loss?

As I said in my first letter to the editor, the vision of PTC is threatened, making this a very important election.

Which candidates are elected will determine the direction of the council for the next two years.

Electing pro-development candidates will continue the goal of Mayor Logsdon to “finish PTC by filling in every still vacant piece of land with something.”

We need to elect two candidates who understand our first priority is defending our home values, the PTC vision and our way of life. That is done by attracting employers into existing spaces whose employees can and will live in PTC, not by building more retail and homes. That truly contributes to our tax base without contributing to traffic congestion and further overwhelming our infrastructure,

It is up to you, the voters. So, please be informed, spread the word and then vote.

Don Haddix

candidate for Post 1, Peachtree City Council

Peachtree City, Ga.

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