CTA Supports Local Businesses but not free handouts

Paul Pagnuelo presented at the October 12, 2016 Town’s Budget Public Input meeting, on behalf of the Cobourg Taxpayers Association (CTA), its opposition to the Community Improvement Program (CIP) and its future Community Improvement Venture Initiative (CIVI).

Some of the key highlights are:

  • Enhancements to private property should be the responsibility of the building owner. The Town should not be in the business of funding grants or loans to private enterprise.
  • It is unfair to non-participating businesses in the downtown area and elsewhere in Town.
  • Unfair to taxpayers that public money is being used to benefit a select few in the private sector and increase their wealth through property improvements instead of being directed to basic infrastructure or other capital projects.
  • No true measurements on how CIP has affected vacancy rates, new tenants staying, or increase in sales or number of employees.
  • There appears to be no credit analysis of the borrower by a qualified lender being conducted that we are aware of.

The CTA recommends that Council discontinue the CIP program. Any consideration of replacing it sometime in the future with a CIVI program, a CIP on steroids, should not be entertained

The CTA supports local businesses and wants to see a sustainable, vibrant economy not just downtown but throughout all of Cobourg. Handing out free public money as an incentive to select businesses will not accomplish that goal and is counterproductive. The success of Downtown Vitalization is not dependent on government handouts

The full presentation can be found here:

CTA Pre-Budget Submission – CIP