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Pete Kaliner

Project X extorts $1.6M from City

 
Project X extorts $1.6M from City
Posted June 12th, 2013 @ 11:19am

There was decidedly less outrage at the latest extortion of Ashevile City Council last night.  Apparently, politicians who decry crony capitalism, corporatism and tax breaks for the wealthiest are only selectively outraged.

Remember the President's visit to Asheville's Linamar plant (recipient of millions of taxpayer largesse)?

It's okay to give these multi-billion dollar, multi-national corporations money - as long as the pol gets his picture taken.

From the President to the City Council, tax breaks for big corporations are cool.

With only a single dissenting vote, Council agreed on a $1.6 million dollar tax incentive package to an anoynmous private company – dubbed ‘Project X.’

The Tribune recently reported that the company is part of GE aviation.

The Citizen-Times reported that the company was threatening to leave if it didn’t get tax money.

This would sound like intimidation.

Bullying, even!

City Council has been ginning up outrage last week when Mountain Xpress published e-mails that Councilmembers say prove NC lawmakers are trying to force the Council to settle its lawsuit over the water system merger law.

But last night, only Cecil Bothwell opposed the blatant extortion by GE.  He said he didn't want to support a company that made "war machines." He suspected most of Asheville would agree with him, too.

The Mayor thought Bothwell was crossing a line of civility, noting that people who currently work at the facility probably wouldn't like be called warmongerers.

Gordon Smith said the deal made him a tad uncomfortable, but he voted for it.

It got me thinking...

Perhaps if the NC lawmakers threaten to move some jobs out of town, the Council would be more willing to settle its lawsuit.

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