Eli Lilly Goes on Welfare
Corporate Welfare: COMMISSION DENIES CITIZENS REQUEST FOR CONTINUANCE
The Alliance for Democracy of Indiana (AFD) was denied their request for continuance on the hearing granting large tax abatements to corporate giant Eli Lilly & Co. Following the instructions in the Metropolitan Development Commissions Rules of Procedure, this group of concerned citizens requested the continuance in writing seven days prior to the Sept.1 meeting.A news release from the Alliance for Democracy.
Requesting again in person, Stefanie Miller, representing the Alliance for Democracy said, "We believe this an extremely important issue and as ordinary citizens it is only fair that we have the chance to research and analyze the costs and benefits to taxpayers."
A tax abatement of this size deserves public participation. No response was made to her statement. The embarrassed Commission then denied the request, quickly voted yes on the resolutions, and casually asked if anyone else had anything to say. Ms. Miller then spoke further to the issue:
The Alliance for Democracy has filed for Appeal.
"Since we were denied our request for continuance on this hearing, we had very little time to prepare. However, the Alliance for Democracy firmly opposes this $100 million tax abatement to Eli Lilly & Co. This tax give-away amounts to several hundred dollars per household going to a giant corporation that makes over $1 million an hour in sales! This tax money is then channeled away from essential public services like education, health, and safety. Although there is raw sewage in our neighborhood streams, there is not enough money to fix our 19th century sewers. Eli Lilly & Co. is not a struggling new business.
"Last year, their outgoing CEO alone received $42 million in compensation.
"Lilly does not need tax incentives, and these incentives are nearly always a terrible deal for taxpayers. Mayor Goldsmith says the expansion compares to a Fortune 500 Company locating to the city every two years for the next decade. According to Time Magazine, Fortune 500 companies are the biggest welfare recipients, and they eliminated more jobs than they created in this decade! This kind of corporate welfare tilts the playing field in favor of the largest, richest, and most politically influential businesses. Asking for a hand-out is also inconsistent with free-market values. We see no way to justify giving over 100 million public dollars to Eli Lilly and its shareholders! We strongly request that the Commission deny Eli Lillys tax abatement. It is an unthinkable insult to the taxpayers!
"Mayor Goldsmith for the past eight years had extolled the beauty and sanctity of the free market. He tells us that without government interference the free market will work its magic and solve all problems. Yet when a huge and successful corporation wants to expand, he rushes forward with $100 million in public money to satisfy a whim--not a need.
"Where are the public officials to protect citizens from these massive giveaways? Instead of grinning ear to ear in front of Lillys big logo and dutifully handing over the key to the public treasury, these elected officials should be burning the midnight oil figuring a way to permanently stop these disgraceful raids.
"(In closing I'd like to point out that Indianapolis was the first official victim of the economic incentives war. In 1936 Real Silk Hosiery was lured from Indianapolis to Durant Mississippi, thereby making Durant not only the perpetrator but as it turned out the second victim of the incentives war. Durant floated a big bond issue, built a big factory and leased it to Real Silk for $5.00 a year, waived building and property taxes and lavished corporate welfare on them until the mid 1950s. In an all too typical show of ingratitude, even before the first bond was paid off, Real Silk shut all its factories, sold all the equipment and became an investment company.)"
Alliance for Democracy of Indiana PO Box 34133 Indianapolis, IN 46234 317 872-3516 firstname.lastname@example.org
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