We have to wonder how many times, as a very wee lad, Mr. Shreve was called into the principal’s office. If his unprepared, defensive adult self is anything like the boy he once was, we have to imagine it was quite often. At today’s surprise (at least to us) meeting, Billy was on the defensive. Let’s set the scene first.
This meeting had one item on the agenda and that was to discuss the Industrial/Commercial tax credit. If you remember from last week there was a hearing on this very topic. Well, Mr. Shreve himself wanted a workshop on this bill because he had some issues. This is what we know about this bill. It’s an incentive for current and new manufacturing businesses to open up shop or expand here in Frederick County. To qualify for the credit the business must employ at least 25 people and have made a substantial investment in Frederick County. Based upon the application of the business, the County Executive can offer the business anywhere up to a 100% tax credit for up to 10 years. The office of Economic Development wants this flexibility, as opposed to a flat rate, to offer to businesses based on their size and their potential economic impact upon our region. Flexibility is the key here. For example if you create 3 jobs and invest $100,000 in capital investments the business is eligible for a 20% credit. The more jobs you create and the more money you invest brings up the percentage you are entitled to.Now our friend #kirbydelauter had some issues with the county executive having what he deemed subjective powers. And honestly if we thought he would apply this same standard had Blaine been elected we would be able to hear him out. But we don’t. The only good that came out of his questioning (that at times bordered on snippy) was that Jessica offered that the bill read that the county executive base his or her decision on the recommendation of the economic development office. We frankly don’t believe it’s subjective considering that the percentage of the tax credit is based upon the jobs you create and money you invest. But as Kirby said, “I’m not a math whiz, I can tell you that.”
Here we must stop and once again proclaim how we love our county employees. Helen and Richard were prepared, poised and ready to answer any and all questions our council members had. It really has been a refreshing joy to know that our county is in the hands of so many well qualified, articulate people. Then there’s this:
Readers we don’t even know how to phrase this anymore. Billy wanted this meeting and then proclaimed that the meeting wasn’t what he thought it was about. You see he doesn’t want a flexible tax credit that is decided by the County Executive. He wants a flat rate that applies to all businesses, no matter what their size. Now Billy has this habit of interjecting a past hurt into a current, often irrelevant matter. Tonight it was this:
I’m not sure if we all know that the State of Virginia has an official English language ordinance. Do we use that when we compete with Northern Virginia? Has there ever been any discussion of that?
Great suffering Sappho! We can barely take this anymore! Get over it Billy! It just gets worse from there. He doesn’t think the bill is fair or transparent. Ignoring the fact that if the credit is over 60% it would get kicked back to the council for approval. The main reason he deems it unfair is that it doesn’t include small businesses. Again ignoring the fact that this bill applies to businesses with as little as 25 employees. Jessica, our heroine of the evening, brings him to task on this issue. She reprimands him for suggesting this meeting, not putting any of his wanted changes in writing for anyone to look at and calling this bill over and over again a political process. M.C. tries to smooth over Billy’s hurt feelings by discussing the small business tax credit (a separate thing) and how they can try and codify it. By this time poor Billy is all puttered out and the only word he can mutter is, “Sure”. Next time you want a meeting Billy you should prepare for what it’s actually about not what you wish it to be. You had some nerve calling the meeting a complete waste of time. (Yes readers, that’s a thing that happened.) Just because you didn’t get your way doesn’t mean it was a waste. Why do I see a WFMD appearance in our future?