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Ken Hagan draws GOP challenger in Hillsborough re-election bid
Our priorities, the priorities important to the people of district 2, are being ignored by the county commission. Instead, "Tax-Happy" Hagan is looking to spend our tax dollars on his priorities: a stadium for the Rays, his Hollywood film commission and a transit plan that will include variable toll lanes, a ferry terminal and light rail. These are bad investments that don't pay off for taxpayers. Economic development needs to provide innovation jobs, jobs of the future. My opponent takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers and those who benefit from unconstrained development, ignoring master plans developed with input from citizens of Hillsborough County. Why?
I'm Chris Paradies, and innovation has been my business for decades. I want Hillsborough County to embrace the power of innovation to solve issues important to you.
What am I hearing that is important to you?
Those issues important to you are a priority to me. That is what a public servant is supposed to do.
A citizen's advisory committee spent years searching and found more than $1 Billion over 10 years in savings in the Hillsborough County budget that could be invested over the next decade, without cutting any essential services. Smart investments in critical infrastructure and targeted incentives increase productivity and create real economic growth in our region, and create the jobs of the future for our kids and grandkids.
Compare smart investments like these, which help to reduce taxes on our families, seniors and small businesses, to the kinds of taxpayer subsidies that Tax-Happy Hagan gives to big box stores and multi-million dollar sports franchises that only benefit his developer friends and big corporate interests, costing taxpayers plenty and shuttering family businesses.
Those citizens on the advisory committee were volunteers, helping on their own time, and the board of county commissioners let them down. Tax-Happy Hagan failed to implement the recommended cuts after hearing the committee's report! He shut them down.
Instead, Hagan secretly wants to spend more taxpayer dollars to subsidize "infrastructure" for his new state-of-the-art stadium for the Rays in Tampa, because he's a sports guy... That's what Hagan said. That's his reason? He's a sports guy! So, obligate taxpayers for $300 million, or more, because you're a sports guy!?!
All studies by independent economists show that taxpayer subsidized stadiums lose money for the taxpayers and make money for the owners and a few developers with land immediately adjacent to a stadium. Use the link, above, to download the Amazon Kindle version of Field of Schemes. You'll learn how stadium deals swindle taxpayers, turning our public tax dollars into private profits for millionaires and billionaires!
There's nothing wrong with privately built stadiums, but the studies show that publicly financed stadiums fleece taxpayers and benefit only wealthy team owners. Also, stadiums fail to increase community adhesion, either, but rather widen divides between those big corporate interests that mobilize public support for stadium deals and the ordinary citizens that pick up the tab. There are books written on the subject and plenty of studies that show no return on taxpayer dollars to taxpayers.
Tax-Happy Hagan admits that St. Pete probably lost economic development potential at Tropicana Field, but he still wants Tampa to host a stadium. Then, Tampa can lose economic development potential of the land occupied by a stadium!?!
Read how the great stadium swindle turns public money into private profit.
What do small businesses need from government? It depends, but here are some common answers:
"Tax-Happy" Hagan wants taxpayers to foot the bill for his quest to build a new stadium for the Rays in downtown Tampa. When will he spring the secret scheme that he is cooking up with the Rays (while excepting big donations from people directly benefiting from the deal)?
Get informed now! The "model" that Hagan is using, the Atlanta model, pushed through hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer obligations without a public referendum or a sufficient time for taxpayers to mobilize against it. Now, taxpayers in Cobb County Georgia are on the hook for as much as $600 million.
We need Chris Paradies to end these secret deals and restore trust in Hillsborough County government!
...while Tax-Happy Hagan was "negotiating" a secret sweetheart deal for a new stadium for the Rays subsidized by the taxpayers of Hillsborough County.
“It’s the perfect model for what we’re trying to do here,” Hagan said in an interview with Sports Talk Florida.
Is this the same stadium deal that has the Atlanta media asking if it is the "...Worst Sports Stadium Deal Ever?" That's Tax-Happy Hagan's model?!? Reportedly, the 5-person board of county commissioners in Cobb County "approved the Braves' plan without public debate by standing in hallways to get around open-meetings laws"!!! Yes, that would be the model Tax-Happy Hagan supports! Why? Because the taxpayers have better priorities for the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars that will be funneled to the owner of the Rays in Hagan's secret "negotiations" with his new best friends and big donor pals.
What priorities could be more important than a taxpayer subsidized stadium? How about:
All of these priorities will require an investment by government, our innovative small businesses and the utility companies. Innovation in smart grid technologies, electric power storage solutions, and underground power cables. It will take innovation and vision, something that the board of county commission has not seen from Tax-Happy Hagan. Sure, making our electric grid more resilient, more resistant to storms will take money, too, but the citizen's advisory committee found more than $1 Billion in waste in the Hillsborough County budget.
No cuts proposed by Tax-Happy Hagan. Instead, he wants to taxpayers to subsidize "infrastructure" for a stadium for the Rays in Tampa, because he's a sports guy... That's what Hagan said. That's is reason? All of the studies show that taxpayer subsidized stadiums lose money for the taxpayers and make money for the owners and a few developers with land immediately adjacent to a stadium.
Tax-Happy Hagan admits that St. Pete has probably lost economic development potential at Tropicana Field, but he still wants the taxpayers to subsidize a new stadium for the owner of the Rays, in Tampa!
Tax-Happy Hagan's priorities are wrong for taxpayers! His friends will make out, but everyone else will lose. We should be prioritizing our families, the safety of vulnerable seniors and growing the jobs of the future by creating a positive business environment for our small businesses. A resilient electrical grid is necessary for small businesses to thrive in Hillsborough County. Let's get our priorities right.