Edinburg – The lease agreement between the City of Edinburg and the Vipers’ Corporation, which seems to have been written by someone in the Vipers’ Corporation is clearly primarily beneficial to the Vipers’. In fact, we fail to see any benefit to the city.
The lease payment to the City will be ONE DOLLAR A YEAR
- The Vipers’ will have ultimate-use-authority over the facility, little or no revenue will come to the City for thirty years.
- The Vipers’ authority includes leasing to private businesses certain areas of the facility.
- The City will pay all utilities including a maintenance fee to ensure effective day-to-day operation.
- NO PROPERTY TAXES WILL BE PAID to the City, County, ISD or other taxing bodies for thirty years.
The primary concern is the difficulty of identifying the benefit to the people of Edinburg and also the financial contribution by the Vipers’ Corporation.
- At this point, it seems that the City and the Economic Development Corporation provided $9 million dollars and the Vipers’ provided $700,000 in materials and services.
- The land and parking facilities were provided by the City.
- The City paid for construction, maintenance, taxes and utilities, and now the Vipers’ want a one-dollar a year lease agreement.
- The loss of property taxes is significant. The one-year property taxes for a $15 million-dollar building, which would be the minimum appraised value would be $95,250 dollars. The other taxing bodies would lose $322,365 in tax revenue the same year. The combined tax loss would be at least $417,615. Each year this total would increase by 5 to 8 percent and it would quickly exceed any project income generated by the facility.
So, what is the benefit of increasing taxes to support a project that does not benefit the public and a population with a 36% poverty rate?
In essence, during Ex-Mayor’s Richard Garcia’s administration the City of Edinburg paid for a building it did not advertise for construction and held executive session with a contractor the city did not have under contract. The project was implemented by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (EDC), a legally separate entity that was totally under City control.
The new Edinburg City Council is discovering a great deal about the actions of Ex-Mayor Richard Garcia in his position as Mayor and Chairman of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. The following information was gathered by attending public meetings and asking questions concerning the expenditure of public funds. The document that has been most helpful is the proposed lease agreement between the Vipers’ and the City of Edinburg.
Find this lease agreement at http://www.cityofedinburg.com/pdfs/citysect/packets/01022018CCRM.pdf
If the link does not work it can be viewed by going to the City of Edinburg Web page www.cityofedinburg.com , Click on “City Government”, then select “Meeting agendas” and opening “agenda packet” for January 2, 2018. It starts on page 7 (information after the meeting agenda).
How many small businesses would benefit from not paying taxes for thirty years? We urge all residents to support the new City Councilmen, and the next time you see the Ex-Mayor ask him, where is the public benefit?
The title of this article is based on the fact that many people knew this project was not good for the people, but nobody said anything until a new slate of Councilmen was elected.
People need to vote for better candidates and the OWLS can tell them who they are!
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