Readers’ Forum

Tax incentives

Dear editor:

Many communities around the country normally try to entice companies into their area by offering tax incentives. This action is usually taken to try and provide more employment opportunities for the local residents.

There are two employers in our area, Warren General Hospital and the Rouse Home, that have nearly 1,000 employees between them and our county officials want to take away the tax incentives they now receive in the way of real estate tax exemptions.

The perceived reasoning most likely is to gain more revenues from real estate taxes without raising the individual real estate taxes on the commercial and residential structures in the entire county.

But what might be the unintended consequences of this action? what if these two employers can’t operate without losing money every year and are forced to shut down? We will then have 1,000 newly unemployed people who may not be able to pay their own real estate taxes on their homes.

Recently a hospital along the Lake Erie near Dunkirk was closed forcing doctors and patients to find new facilities for treatment; at greater travelling distance.

And there will no longer be a Rouse Home to help house and otherwise take care of the disabled and health challenged older citizens of our area. There will no longer be a Warren General Hospital to handle our medical needs locally. All medical patients will now be required to travel to Erie or farther for hospital tests, services and surgeries required.

As with all government, local, state, and especially federal the unintended consequences usually don’t appear until well after the original action is placed into law.

Olin Neal