George Hartzman, 2506 Baytree Drive
I would like to begin by questioning the premise
that no taxpayer money will be involved in the proposed Hotel project.
If the Hotel’s financing involves “New Markets Tax Credits,”
that provide directly paid credits against Federal income taxes,
how can this project not involve taxpayer money?
Aren’t federal economic recovery zone bonds and tax credits
subsidized by taxpayers borrowing and accumulating federal debt,
to be paid for by higher taxes on the future income of our nation’s children,
including Greensboro and Guilford County taxpayer’s?
If the Hotel is financed with federal subsidies from the stimulus package,
and receives revenues that would have gone to other hotels and restaurants
that would have paid local, state and federal taxes,
how can anyone say the Hotel project,
which will most likely declare years of tax deductable operating losses,
will not transfer taxable profits from other businesses,
confiscating local tax revenues from Greensboro and Guilford County
by depositing the lost revenues and taxes into a state sponsored business?
If the analysis submitted by the Urban Hotel Group is correct,
could Guilford County’s Commissioners indirectly annually remove
more than $3.6 million in taxable revenues from hotels paying local taxes
to another that will pay far less?
According to the analysis,
if total Greensboro hotel occupancy stays the same city wide,
how could more than $3.2 million in annual taxable revenues
not come directly out of the pockets of privately owned eateries, caterers and bars?
If some who suggest “No Taxpayer Money is Involved,” are incorrect,
what else could be ambiguisly disingenuous?
There were two analysis performed by the same company for the Hotel project.
The first, commissioned by the City of Greensboro, dated January 18, 2010,
said average food and beverage revenues for comparable downtown hotels in large cities
ranged from $75.54 to $92.28,
while the hotel developers projected food and beverage revenues
were $115.93 per room, three times higher than the Downtown Marriott.
The second study by the same company, dated February 16, 2010,
paid for by the developers, projected food and beverage revenues
of $169.29 per room, for a hotel surrounded by restaurants, night clubs and a ballpark.
How could projected food and beverage revenues rise
from $115.93 on January 18th, to $169.29, less than 30 days later?
How can an “independent” analysis performed by the same company
believably assert that occupancy projections rose 20% with 10% fewer rooms
inside of a month?
Are these numbers,
presented by the same company that rejected the feasibility of the hotel
less than a month before, realistic?
Mark Twain said “Sometimes I wonder
whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on,
or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
If the possibility exists that this vote is based on inaccurate information,
should the Commissioners investigate the disparities between the two studies
before approving a project that may actually involve taxpayer money,
even though the promoters say otherwise?