Monday, December 7, 2009
A Dollar And A Dream? Or Is It A Nightmare?
Yes this was the title in the New Haven Register today as Geneveve Salvatore and Mayor Richetelli engaged in a new program to address the "Millions" of square feet in vacant retail space.
While the dollar is merely a figurative amount to keep an account open the dream is real, but for who is this dream real. If you look to the article below (Property Transfers), dreams and dollars are not exactly what go together these days.
When a house sells for a $1.00 that means the property was foreclosed, the owners evicted and their American Dream shattered. Milford has about two to three people a week losing their homes for a dollar.
This metaphor has an unintended consequence of being being in poor taste and offensive to those who lost their properties for a Dollar. My neighbor lost his retail space/business to undocumented and illegal workers giving away their services at prices that no legal business can compete with.
The city has a good idea in wanting to help businesses, the first thing that can be done to fill retail spaces is report undocumented workers to the INS, IRS, and Local police so legal businesses can stay in business, with registered cars, fair wages, and payment of taxes.
The next thing the city can do, is to remove the oppressive property tax that taxes businesses for their unused inventory, tables, chairs, paintings, computers etc. instead of auditing them to raise revenue.
One other thing that would be very helpful would be to streamline the permitting process, lower fees, and implement a program that does not disparage a person from wanting to even consider opening a business in Milford.
The last thing that I would personally do, would be to implement a grant program, much like other cities do, to help businesses obtain start up capital, and subsidized employees like those rendered by the Department of Social Services.
One last point, offer landlords tax breaks if 100% of their space is fully leased for two or more years. This will provide them with an incentive to keep rents low, and negotiate good leases.
Should a successful program prevail, brag about it. Advertise Milford as a "business friendly town," this would be much better than constantly looking at billboards full of conniving lying politicians. People want to visit Milford because something is here for them, like a movie theater, perhaps a future Maritime Museum, Pirate Ship or like attraction.
Until then the only thing a Dollar is going to buy in this town, is a foreclosed home and someone elses shattered dreams.