Remember when PwC laid off
500-ish 470 people in the Tampa area last year? The townies weren’t impressed and the local press, including the St. Petersburg Times, was all over the firm about it. At the time, PwC insisted that they would create more jobs in the area to make up for things. Frankly, no one took them seriously and probably chalked it up to “something PR has to say.” So it was a nice surprise to learn that the firm is not only hiring 200 new people but they’re spending $78 million on a “build-to-suit building.”
Typically when these kinds of things happen, the local and state governments like to subsidize a bit of the project and this situation is no different. The firm is reportedly receiving $2 million but a source at PwC, who wants to keep their identity secret because DUH, told me that it’s actually closer to $1.2 million. It consists of approximately $800k and some change from the state of Florida and $1.1 million (yes, I know the math doesn’t work you twerps, so save it, they didn’t have exact numbers) from the city and county, the latter being part of the Premier Business Bonus Program.
Rather than simply say “Thank you, PwC for bestowing your autumnal hues on our otherwise hot, sticky, green and tan town…oh, and the jobs are okay too,” the Tampa Bay Businees Journal is poking around the “$2 million” in subsidies. The focus of the story caused our source to be a little perplexed since, you know, the firm is spending nearly $80 million and hiring 200 people. Not to mention the people that will build the $78 million whathaveyou. Did they think the current PwC employees were going to bring their tool belts and slap together some framing and drywall? Plus, the firm doesn’t get the
$2 million $1.2 million unless they spend the $78 million and they hire the 200 people. 197 simply won’t do (I asked).
Does it make up for the 500 layoffs? Maybe not. But a story about subsidies that probably wouldn’t pay for Dennis Nally’s annual travel? There’s far more interesting things going on in Florida. I assure you.
Kentucky’s state tourism board approved up to $43 million in tax incentives for the construction of Ark Encounter, a creationist theme park.
The tax rebates, which could subsidize up to 25% of the $150 million project, were granted under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act. The state government’s website says that the act “allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of sales tax up to 25% of project capitol [sic] costs over a 10 year period,” provided that projects have a positive economic impact.
Ark Encounter will include Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, an ancient walled city, and other Biblical renditions. A Christian organization called “Genesis in America” heads the project that is scheduled to break ground in August and open in the spring of 2014.
Sorry for being a little to the game on this one but everyone seems to still be in their meat-induced comas and this type of proposed legislation has left us wondering: IS NOTHING SACRED? If the affluent in our society can’t write off the mortgage interest on their second home that also happens to be boat, haven’t the terrorists won?
“There’s absolutely no reason why taxpayers should subsidize luxury yachts,” said Quigley. “As we work to address our budget challenges, closing this frivolous tax loophole is a no-brainer.”
“We’re going to have to make some hard decisions to tackle our national debt, but this isn’t one of them,” said Walz. “Closing this tax loophole restores the Mortgage Interest Deduction to its original purpose; helping middle class families realize the American Dream through homeownership.”
Currently, taxpayers are allowed to deduct mortgage interest for up to two homes from their tax returns. Yachts equipped with bedding, toilet facilities, and a kitchen qualify even if they aren’t used as a primary residence. The Ending Taxpayer Subsidies for Yachts Act would limit the tax deduction to only those who use their boats as a primary residence.
“We need to get the deficit under control, and that means simplifying the tax code and eliminating special interest tax giveaways like the Yacht Loophole,” added Peters. “Homeownership is part of the American Dream and we should encourage it, but yacht owners don’t need any special handouts, especially in the middle of a budget crisis.”
Also, it’s our understanding that the Reps will use the following footage to make a case for their bill: