Scott Ellis Comments On Ad Valorem Tax Exemption

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YOUR OPINION

YOUR-OPINION--VIEWS-580-25

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“Economic Development” has morphed from a simple lower taxes and less rules plan, to a Frankenstein Monster of massive transfers of taxpayer funding, insider backslapping, crony capitalism, corporate welfare and large “grants” for salaries for the “gatekeepers” behind the curtain.

– Scott Ellis, Brevard County Clerk of Court 

The “groundbreaking project announcement” of Embraer highlights everything gone awry with the original ad valorem rebate program. The new Embraer facility is not here for ad valorem abatement, they are collecting $50 million in direct cash subsidies from the State, County, City, and the Airport. Cash on the barrel head, not an “abatement.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: SpaceCoastDaily.com provides an unbiased, non-agenda-driven venue for your information and engagement, and welcomes and encourages all points of view. For more information, or to send your comments and columns, e-mail SpaceCoastDaily@gmail.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: SpaceCoastDaily.com provides an unbiased, non-agenda-driven venue for your information and engagement, and welcomes and encourages all points of view. For more information, or to send your comments and columns, e-mail SpaceCoastDaily@gmail.com

The relocation of the last of Grumman Bethpage as well as parts of Northrup/TRW in California has gone well and will bring 400 skilled employees and their families plus save many of those currently employed from layoffs as Joint STARS continues to scale back.

I wish the E2C Hawkeye and Project Magellan well, but ad valorem abatement is not a major factor, because just as the Melbourne Airport Authority is building a tax free structure for Embraer, Space Florida (your state tax dollars) will be doing the same for Northrup.

Hank Fishkind, a central Florida economist, writes:

Hank Fishkind

Hank Fishkind

“We see places that are weak here in Central Florida. Daytona Beach, Melbourne, still very weak job growth — only 2,000 for job growth over the last 12 months in Daytona Beach, that’s a 1.9 percent rate of growth, compared to 3.2 percent for the state as a whole.

“In Melbourne, only 800 new jobs over the last 12 months — less than one percent job growth. So they’re pretty weak compared to Orlando that had over 39,000 jobs and an over 3.2 percent rate of job growth.”

I’m not sure how this can be, since the EDC claims we have the second coming of Apollo and takes all the credit any time the sun shines. The major corporate moves, such as Grumman, were coming anyway. Companies like MC Test and Harris were never leaving. Then we have Bertram Yachts and Rocket Crafters, thousands promised, nothing delivered.

The dog and pony shows divert attention from the real changes needed for business growth in fees, taxes, and regulations.

Economic development is great for junketing politicians all over the world, but what does it really accomplish here in Brevard County? The greatest attraction for expanding and relocating businesses is lower taxes and regulations.

Economic development is great for junketing politicians all over the world, but what does it really accomplish here in Brevard County? The greatest attraction for expanding and relocating businesses is lower taxes and regulations. We squander efforts with the EDC praying to hit bottom of the 9th inning grand slams when a more business friendly environment would consistently deliver more hits and more scoring over time.

Barnlight Electric was here well before the EDC ever showed up to take credit for their successful operation. In the crazy Blazing Saddles extortion case of MC Test and Assembly, we were told the whole 300 man operation would pack up and move lock, stock, and barrel to Mexico unless they got an abatement worth $85,000 a year. Really? How many 300 man companies would relocate to a foreign country for $85,000 a year?

Greg Weiner of the EDC, speaking of the recent Brevard County primary elections, told the Palm Bay Chamber, “In my judgment, it is a war. It’s a war of ideas and nothing less than that. Our opponents are frankly your opponents.  And some of them have been working for years, for years, to get to this day.”

What is the war of ideas? The war of ideas is the war between the idea of limited government and free markets versus that of heavy government regulation and insider subsidies.

“Economic Development” has morphed from a simple lower taxes and less rules plan to a Frankenstein Monster of massive transfers of taxpayer funding, insider backslapping, crony capitalism, corporate welfare and large “grants” for salaries for the “gatekeepers” behind the curtain.

As for who benefits, cui bono, who shows up to push local government for more money?

I don’t know who “we” is other than the companies taking the subsidies, the businesses drawing a direct benefit from the subsidized business, and the Economic Development Commission which has refined the art of taking credit for those relocations which would happen anyway while claiming no responsibility for many of the formerly ballyhooed projects which have become failures.

“Economic Development” has morphed from a simple lower taxes and less rules plan, to a Frankenstein Monster of massive transfers of taxpayer funding, insider backslapping, crony capitalism, corporate welfare and large “grants” for salaries for the “gatekeepers” behind the curtain.

I voted over 20 years ago to place ad valorem abatement on the ballot, but given the culture of cronyism and subsidy it has turned into it is time for Brevard County to get off the table of a rigged game.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scott Ellis was first elected Brevard County Clerk of the Court in 2000 and voluntarily left office at the end of 2010. He was reelected in 2012 by a wide margin over Mitch Needelman.

In 1992, Ellis was elected to the Brevard County Commission. While on the County Commission he worked hard for less government by cutting back on expenditures, debt and bureaucratic red tape.

Scott Ellis

Scott Ellis

Ellis was born in Charleston, West Virginia and graduated from Eau Gallie High School in 1976. Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, attaining the rank of Sergeant prior to honorable discharge in 1980. He then graduated from the University of Central Florida in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration in 1985. Ellis went to work for RCA at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station as a software analyst on the Command Destruct Range Safety programs.

He has taken an active role in governmental affairs at all levels, writing and speaking on numerous subjects in Brevard County.

EDITOR’S NOTE: SpaceCoastDaily.com provides an unbiased, non-agenda-driven venue for your information and engagement, and welcomes and encourages all points of view. For more information, or to send your comments and columns, e-mail SpaceCoastDaily@gmail.com


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