To the editor:
It’s unfortunately time to recognize the efforts of 2010 Brunswick Councilors Ben Tucker, David Watson, Suzan Wilson, John Perreault, Gerald Favereau, Margo Knight, and Joanne King.
They voted for the tax increment financing (TIF) that gave the hotel at Brunswick Station millions of dollars in tax, land and infrastructure benefits. A requirement of a TIF, is that the new business is needed.
Brunswick hotel owners en masse informed the council that our businesses were down over 25 percent, but they insisted on playing hotel developer with the taxpayers’ money anyway.
There was no financial risk to them, but there was huge risk for the town and existing hotel owners.
Businesses in Maine, such as the Brunswick hotel owners, put not only their seed money at risk, but also their homes and entire net worth.
Last month, the life savings a hard-working Maine couple was wiped out when the Captain Daniel Stone Inn was deeded back to the bank. The Parkwood Inn was sold for less than half of what it was worth just a few years ago.
Assessable property values for hotels in Brunswick are obviously declining rapidly.
The hotel at Brunswick Station had (some of) its property taxes rebated for 10 years by the Town Council. The shortfall will have to be made up elsewhere.
Still, the aforementioned councilors can drive by the hotel at Brunswick Station and see their legacy. As they settle down to their holiday dinners this year, they might take a moment to pause and consider the pain this legacy has caused to Brunswick business people and taxpayers, and the part they played in causing it.
If history is any judge, they won’t give it a passing thought.