Under the plan, the City gives out tens of millions of dollars in public money to pay for land it already donated to the Board and gets nothing in return.
By Graham Crawford
Published February 26, 2012
Help me understand something. Am I to conclude that you voted to give McMaster University $20 million ($10 million of which comes from our Future Fund) of taxpayers' money and that we will not own any part of the resulting asset, including the parking lot that will be severed as per McMaster's instructions to the Board?
So, we give Mac $20 million. They sell the parking lot and keep 100 percent of the proceeds. The citizens of Hamilton do not receive even a penny in return.
Please to do not tell me the parking lot will contain tax-paying enterprises in the future. Of course it will, when Mac sells it to a developer. All the more reason for the citizens of Hamilton to receive some return on their initial investment upon Mac's sale of the property.
As an investor, you're saying to your business partner, "Here, take my money and in return I expect to receive absolutely nothing except that you'll agree to become a neighbour and pay absolutely no taxes, ever."
Not only that, but you're also saying, "If you can sell, for a profit, any portion of the asset we gave you money to acquire/create, you can keep all of the money."
Not only that, but you're about to approve swing space for the other partner who got our land for nothing and will keep 100 percent of the sale of that asset. They sign up for a two year lease and the taxpayers sign up for a 20 year lease to make this happen.
If this is the case, who is advising you? Really.
Would those of you who have invested your own money in a for-profit enterprise please talk to those Councillors who have not?
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