End Corporate Welfare

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The Midland Development Corporation (MDC) is funded by a quarter of a cent Type A sales tax revenue. That added up to more than $15 million this past fiscal year. The MDC invested more than $20 million into our Spaceport Business Park which is largely viewed as a failure by our residents. Their next venture is a private downtown hotel. Information leaked from a private executive session revealed that the MDC is planning to use $19 million in sales tax revenue to finance this project.

Midland Development Corporation Board meetings are once a month and have occurred on Mondays for the entire year. They posted the notice for the Monday, November 4th meeting on Friday, November 1st. They are required to give 48-hour notice, so they are doing the bare minimum. Giving notice on a Friday for a meeting on a Monday is the opposite of promoting community involvement and transparency.   

I believe that the next MDC board meeting will be on Monday, December 2nd. Meetings are held in the basement at City Hall at 10am. I think this will be the meeting where they attempt to finalize the plans for the downtown hotel so they can get it on the City Council meeting agenda for December 10th.

Anytime a contract is approved by MDC and they are spending more than $50,000, it goes to the City Council for ratification. These contracts are typically approved (aka rubber stamped) by resolutions.  Resolutions and motions can be approved on Consent Agenda. That means, no first or second readings, no public hearing. The item must be pulled by a council member to be discussed. If a resident asks to speak on the item, the council will pull it.

At this point, everything I’ve said is based on my knowledge base and intuition. The fact is, we won’t know for sure if the board meeting will be held on December 2nd until they post the notice, most likely on November 29th. This could be a critical meeting. We are talking about potentially $19 million of our sale tax revenue being handed to a hotel developer. That is almost as much as one year of the road bond that we are paying extra for. THIS CANNOT CONTINUE.

We need to make it clear to the MDC and the City Council that we will not continue to tolerate our money being used for corporate welfare so rich people can get richer while we get taxed to death.    

Sign this petition, share it, and show our City Council members we are serious.