8 November 2013
Ethagen Refinery: A State Senator’s View
There are several taxes that could be made off of a refinery and the workers’ incomes. The first and most obvious tax is income tax on the worker and property tax for the land the refinery operates on. Some smaller underlying taxes are available as well, including possible taxes related to the amount of pollution and environmental damage the refinery would cause as well as the direct tax of fifty one cents per gallon for ethanol blending. The economic stimulus will hopefully create more businesses in town, which in turn will also be paying taxes and help to boost the economic stability of Acestown.
You have to consider the community when making a decision such as this. Concerns including but not limited to are the general noise and odor such a facility would create. There is also an increased risk for air contamination, water contamination, and destruction of the natural environment in general. Endangered and rare species could potentially be at severe risk. In order to create an ethanol refinery land would have to be developed and cleared off, eliminating habitat for the surrounding ecosystem. We also face the challenges of providing enough water, electricity, and other resources to the plant while still having enough to maintain the city. Water has specifically been mentioned as a major concern, and will take careful planning and analyzing to avoid problems.
I would personally prefer the plant to be just outside of town. The general eye sore it would create as well as potential odor and noise would decrease the living quality for the citizens of Acestown, and pleasing aesthetic of our community as a whole.
TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, as I see it is a raising of taxes in certain areas to help gather money to develop and improve more land. Once this land is improved it and the surrounding land’s values go up, therefore generating more tax revenue themselves, essentially paying off the money that was used to better it. The goal of TIF is to generate more funds, and then use those funds to continue to improve the surrounding community. I would support an increase in taxes to pay for the refinery, provided those taxes that are raised are not done so across the board, but to higher income businesses and individuals. I