Susquehanna Real Estate has said it will redesign the Fraser Centre (Developer confident in redesign of Fraser Centre, CDT Friday). Planned cinema space will now be converted to additional $500,000 condos and more retail space.
The first development plan for the Fraser Centre included a $3.6 million property tax diversion from county and school property tax revenue to the project. Thats 55 percent of all property taxes collected from the center for 20 years.
The tax diversion was based principally on the need to build a mega-cinema for the Downtown State College Improvement District. Thats clear in the public record.
The flawed plan has changed. The cinema is dead. Will Borough Council now rescind the tax increment financing and the school districts obligation to forfeit $3 million in tax revenue?
Or is the district expected to subsidize Susquehanna Realty and the borough using $3 million collected for education? The loss to Centre County is $600,000. The county budget surely cannot afford $600,000 for corporate welfare. Oops, blight mitigation.
Is the State College Area school board going to request that the borough rescind the TIF, given the districts significant budget problems and staff dismissals?
Those are simple questions that deserve a prompt public answer. The TIF should be rescinded now.
Next time, council members should listen to the majority of the public during public meetings; it was a dumb idea driven by special interests, and most told them so.
Don E. Gordon Patton Township