They couldn’t just put their shovels in the ground like they said they would. Instead, they dragged their feet, found a partner and planned their next financial move — how to not pay taxes on their development. The superblock site is an eyesore. Some of us want to see it developed, some would rather it remain undeveloped. Hardly a soul wanted it developed in the way proposed by i-Star and approved by the ZBA. Yet, they got their variance, arguing that it was needed to make the development profitable. Nothing, not-a-thing, was said about a tax abatement of over $100 million.
Our City Council members claimed the variance decision was not in their hands but the ZBA’s. They don’t have the luxury of that buffer now. They are responsible for managing the City’s finances. This tax abatement DIRECTLY affects the City’s finances. In a MAJOR way. Our City taxes support our City services and infrastructure. This development itself will place large demands on those services and infrastructure. Far more than any of us do, yet we have to pay our taxes.
Where are you City Council members? Is it true you told the IDA that you supported the request? If not, say so. At least one of you is asking your friends, neighbors and acquaintances to help raise money for your re-election. Where do you stand on this issue? If you stand for the tax abatement, please explain how and why that makes sound financial sense for Long Beach. We’re more than curious.