Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A question for the readers of this blog

Sam obviously thinks I am wrong and that granting a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise in Fort Wayne is appropriate AND that it is Economic Development.

I 100% disagree.

So currently we have

People who think granting a tax abatement to a McDonalds franchise is appropiate AND that it is Economic Development

ONE (Sam)

People who think this is a bad policy and the it is NOT Economic Development.

ONE (Me)

Please let us know what you think...

I will not count anonymous comments unless they are signed...

Mike Sylvester


Rachel said...


I'm on your side. This is not economic development. McDonald's Real Estate may be a commercial and retail enterprise, but I don't exactly see it moving the city and its residents forward financially. I'll be blogging about this later tonight.

John B. Kalb said...

This is nothing but CORPORATE WELFARE. Seems that we had a fast-food place at this location not too long ago. And why can MacDees make it there now? Contributions for ten years from Fort Wayne taxpayers = extreme misuse of tax revenue. After 10 years = same thing that happened to the last operator at this location - can't make it, so close it down. Gain = a negative for taxpayer and a nice positive for McDonnalds - all due to our "give-it-all-away" government. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP - LET'S STARTputting on the brakes ON NOVEMBER 6!!! John B. Kalb

Anonymous said...

I will have to side on Mike with this one. Sorry Sam.

I don't believe that adding more businesses such as McDonald's really helps to develop an area economically in a positive enough way.

Eric White said...


I agree with you on this one as well.

In general, I am opposed to the idea of any abatements. But I also understand that not using them would put our city at a disadvantage. It's one of those things where every community would have to stop giving abatements in order to level the playing field.

Robert Enders said...

You do not need abatements for fast food and retail. There is either a market for it or there isn't.

If you have to use an abatement to lure a business to Fort Wayne, they will leave as soon as another city offers them a bigger bribe.

J Q Taxpayer said...

I am with you 150%, if that is possible. I could not believe it when I heard this last night.

I am not sure the guy building/running on was even counting on it. I mean without it was he going to close the store?

What do they tell the next guy that wants the same deal for a fast food place? No?

Now, tell me if I am wrong but does this not set up for some fast food place to go into one of the new high priced store fronts downtown at Harrison Square? Not for the building, but for the equipment inside?

I think the door just got opened to an area it should not have been. What about a low paying assembly plant that wants to pay $7.25 an hour for 125 workers with no bennies?

Jeff Pruitt said...

C'mon Sam - you can't possibly agree with this nonsense. Just say it outloud and try not to laugh. "McDonald's deserves a tax abatement". Seriously you can't do it.

If you grant this abatement then please explain how you could ever turn down any other business for an abatement. Do you honestly believe a McDonalds qualifies as an economic revitalization area? Has this been done anywhere else in the country?

I think it's quite telling that opponents to HS have been asking for any explanation of how that project could bring quality jobs and now we see what "quality jobs" are in the eyes of every single councilman.

Is this the message we want to send about the future of Fort Wayne? A frickin' McDonalds is economic development?

What a farse.

What an embarrassment...

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

Is this a a franchise store or a corporate store?

I'm just curious but either way give me a break! This is freaking ridiculous and the fact that City Council cant see the tree through the five blocks of destruction at Harrison Square is proof positive that they need to be blown out office on November Six just like those three little pork barrels by the big bad wolf.

We will huff and puff till we vote you all out.

This should have never come up in the first place and it shows a lack of education in our schools for character, responsibility, and good economic sense that some one would even connive such a ludicrous idea from the get go. Then again no ever said politicians were smart just slick little *edited for content*


bobett said...


Sam is out of touch and maybe getting wealthy in office.
Vote him out!!!!

This is Corruption all the way Sam!

fairplaybeach said...

I like Mr. Taxpayer's comment:

"What do they tell the next guy that wants the same deal for a fast food place?"

The potential for favoritism for those "connected" and for cronyism seems like a related issue here.
Is that a paranoid thought?

Anonymous said...

Its apparent Mike, that you seem to have a disconnect here and are apparently of the opinion that McDonalds corporate headquarters dare getting a direct tax benefit. Do you and Jeff understand how a franchise works? The owner of this franchise is indeed a small businessman. You know Mike, the ones you are always talking about.

Ironically, I was the one councilmember that was not in attendance on tuesday, so i did not discuss or vote on this issue.

I just get a kick out of Mike relating everything back to his clients. All his clients are against Harrison Square so ALL small business owners are against H. Square. None of his clients have started with a 1 million dollar investment and therefore, NO small businesses start with a million dollar investment. thats ridiculous Mike.


Anonymous said...


Please also keep in mind, that our argument (WHICH STARTED OUT IN A PERSONAL EMAIL EXCHANGE) had ZERO TO DO with the actual abatement and had everything to do with your statement that an owner of a restaurant franchise is not a small business person.

So, thanks for taking this and mischaracterizing the nature of our underlying argument.


Anonymous said...

PS. Mike, I just saw your other post. Are you really saying that because the SBA doesnt recognize a business as qualifying as a small business for purposes of their programs, that the business is not considerd a small business?

Phil Marx said...

Rachel said...

"I don't exactly see it moving the city and it's residents forward financially." While this is definitely not going to have any (positive) impact upon the city as a whole, what about the resident's of that specific area?

I'm making an assumption here when I say that many of the people living in that area of town are probably in the lower economic classes. This means they are less likely to have independent and reliable transportation, and probably have less formal education as well. Given their circumstances, these jobs may be very beneficial to the residents there, thus moving that small group foreward economically. That would explain why Hines might vote for it.

But what about the other members? Payback, perhaps, for Hines's support of Harrison Square?

david said...

Who voted FOR and who voted AGAINST ?

Zachary said...

I agree with the concept of tax abatements, and when used correctly I think they can do a very efficient job at spawning development. With that said, if this community thinks McDonald’s will spawn more development… maybe they are right – but what kind of development? This is one of those cases where I think people are getting momentum and progress confused; and I think it highlights what expectations people have for the area – worse yet, it defines what others see as “good” development. If we are giving handouts, put some stipulations behind it that begin to set a standard for “good” development.

McDonald Restaurants in communities that didn’t want the “average”…

LP Mike Sylvester said...


Give me a break...

I did not mis-characterize ANYTHING. From your posts it is obvious that you support this tax abatement and you even suggested I should learn something about economic development.


Sam Talarico was not present and did not vote. All eight other City Councilmen voted in favor fo the abatement.

Mike Sylvester

david said...

I would ask Don Schmidt why he voted for this. Don is probably the most conservative of the bunch. There has to be a reason why he felt this was a good idea.

I agree - at the surface - giving McDonalds a tax abatement seems ridiculous - but perhaps there is more to this story than we as citizens know.


Anonymous said...


Your CPA designation means a lot, believe me I know how tough it is to get one. However, it does not make you an expert on Economic Development. Believe me you are not an expert and neither am I.

My emails to you were centered around your characterization of franchisees not being considered small businesses.

As for how I would have voted, I dont know. I was not present for any of the discussion or presentation.


LP Mike Sylvester said...


Fair enough...

I never said you voted in favor of it...

How many franchises does this person own?


Jeff Pruitt said...

Who cares how many franchises they own - abatements aren't for EVERY small business. They should be reserved for businesses that will add something vital to the community - like quality jobs.

I was at the meeting and let me say there was little-to-no discussion on this topic. At the end Hines gave some anecdotal story about a girl that was working her way to be a nurse and needed this job at McDonalds. Feel free to watch the replay of the meeting on city-TV.

But I think council missed the point. Nobody is trying to STOP McDonalds from opening up a restaurant. We simply don't want to give them an abatement to do so - it's already open anyway. Does anyone actually believe that McDonalds would've closed down shop were it not for this abatement?

J Q Taxpayer said...

You want the truth. I don't think some of you can stand the truth on this. If you have followed council for the last four plus years you know why this was done.

Think about how people like Crawford and others danced around with their questions. They did not want to do this becuase it broke the rules they had set.

It was called PC.

Luke said...

I love bobett's "vote him (Sam) out" comment. It made me chuckle.

I'm gonna vote Bush out in 2008 too!

Mike has been nice enough to provide a link to the YLNI Candidate Pamphlet. For all of our sakes, please read it.

Ken Stocker said...

I do not understand the abatement either, especially for a Mcdonalds. Two years ago, myself and several others started a company right here in Ft.Wayne. Today, we employ about 50 people full time and pay over a million dollars a year collectively in taxes. We have an intern program for students from the area colleges. We donate to Fort Wayne charities. And we didn't get any tax abatement. We had to do it all ourselves. So I for one do not understand why a McDonalds that already exists should get a tax abatement. I possibly could understand it if it was to lure a business, but not to one already there.


Tim Zank said...

Sam, Mike, etal....I can understand and wholeheartedly agree there are circumstances where abatements make sense and each set of circumstances is somewhat unique but this sounds a little like the chicken or the egg argument.

If memory serves, tax incentives are typically used to entice manufacturing,distribution or
maybe technology and communication type firms with large staffed full time employment. The theory being, you build the facility, and the restaurants, quickmarts & shops open up around them.

In all probability, you guys will be discussing this again very soon, because wherever you find a McDonalds, it's closest neighbors are almost always other fast food joints. When's the last time you saw a McDonalds all by itself???

Carol Popp said...

This tax abatement for McD's is the most ridiculous item of the day.


Anonymous said...

Ken Stocker,

Your problem you did every thing by the book and forgot to donate to the right elected people's coffers.

Gosh, I am surprised you have made it without a government handout.

I mean you are with the Tom Spiece, who did it the Americian Way. But as a taxpayer, THANK YOU

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