Let me see, Smiling Jack Hatch, state senator and real estate developer, buys two derelict buildings for remodeling in the now fashionable Western Gateway Park. And according to the story by reporter Sean Miller, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs hands out tax credits to said real estate developers for the rehabilitation of old, rundown dumps if it's discovered they have some sort of historical significance, .
One of Smiling Jack's purchases, the Chamberlain building , qualifies.
Now as I understand it, tax credits are intended to lighten the income tax burden of working poor families. And I guess they've been a huge success.
Well, what's sauce for the poor goose is better sauce for the rich gander. Now state and local governments are tripping all over themselves awarding tax credits to those what don't need'em.
It still sticks in my craw that a couple of year back Smiling Jack sheparded a $17 million tax credit through the Iowa Senate so MidAmerican Energy, a struggling little energy company, could comply with the Renewable Energy mandate of 1997. I'm sure MidAmerican's major stockholder, humanitarian Warren Buffett, approved the measure.
Meanwhile, Smiling Jack's other purchase, the Kruidenier building, has no historical value, fit only for the wreckingball and therefore no tax credits. So Smiling Jack's doing the right business thing and attempting to unload the dump on some unsuspecting moke. More than likely, though, Smiling Jack will peddle the Kruidenier to some other, wealthier local developer, for the proverbiable song, with the promise of future, fat re-election campaign contributions in mind.
What a guy.