I attended the county hearing on the Swan Point Tax Proposal on Tuesday 12/11/2007, and the commissioners did not make a decision on the application just yet, but the response both positive and negative, was outstanding. It's wonderful to see county residents wanting to take an active part in the future of their county!
I did make a comment at the meeting, which I wanted to mention here. The question of the TIF financing is not the make or break deal for a hotel and spa to open in Swan Point. It's the difference of HOW QUICKLY it is built. The estimates I heard mentioned 5 years longer with out the TIF appproval.
When I look at the state of the real estate development market in the county, it's obvious that developers, both large and small, are suffering due to the recent downturn in the housing market. This affects not only them, but the contractors and laborers that work for them, as well.
If Swan Point development timetables were to be accelerated with approval of the TIF bill, we as a county would be able to provide development and construction related jobs to local residents who may soon find themselves out of work (if they haven't already!).
Why would we work not provide support to a project that can provide jobs in defiance of an otherwise disappointing sector of employment? If we can help keep people from being forced to move elsewhere, shouldn't we do that?
People at the meeting did voice concerns over public funding for private development, but this is not taking money from the county treasury, nor does it factor against county credit. What it does do is give the county a huge boost in terms of both economy and quality of life for Southern Maryland.