WBJ Brad Kane In This Issue: Extra Scrutiny for Polar Park

Why Does Polar Park Not Pay Property Taxes????

 

 

Let me ask a question

 

  • Clark University owns the building Peppercorns is in.
  • They have to pay property taxes on this because the building is not used educational purposes
  • Makes sense

 

It would seem that Polar Park would be the same situation????   

 


 

Comments

Anonymous said…
Looks like AA will leave Worcester Airport... No more flights past March 2nd. Can anyone confirm?
Anonymous said…
Again, not paying real estate taxes makes absolutely no sense to me. I used a McDonalds/Burger King example but your Clark University/Peppercorns is not just theory like my example is.

So why aren't the WooSox paying real estate taxes?
Gary Samela said…
We're you guys trashing the airport when $7 million per year was coming out of the
City's budget to subsidize it?
You attack one the most significant economic development projets in our City's history (the ballpark), yet treat the airport with kid gloves.
Gary Samela said…
I wonder if Mr. Gordo (Andy Davis) was blindsided again by American's decision to pull out. Maybe the Woosox will offer him a job peddling hot dogs at Polar Park?
Bill Randell said…
City never paid $7,000,000 per year to subsidize the airport. In fact even when they owned the airport, Massport was covering a arge portion of the losses..

We find it hard to believe American is pulling out of ORH
Gary Samela said…
Not sure how old you are or how long you've been following the airport, but the City was losing millions on keeping the airport open 30 years before Massport came into the picture. I think the last profitable year was in 1990, when it was $375,000 in the black. It"s been losing money since. Could you keep your business open if it was unprofitable for 30 years?

I guess it"s ok with you that the taxpayers had to subsidize it then, but not with the ballpark?


We were fortunate that we had some high ranking politicians (with strong Worcester ties) that forced ORH down Massport's throat.

It was hoped that Massport's clout in the industry would help attract airlines here. It worked at first, but the airlines here are now getting fed up. Just a matter of time before JB and Delta pull out.

Does it really help these airlines's bottom lines to have 1-2 flights a day out of ORH with 80% load numbers? When you consider the infustructure (human and physical) to have a presence here it's probably not worth their while.

Anonymous said…
Because some tied there promises to this. And gave away the store for there promise that this is going to work. Bury the truth
Anonymous said…
And on top of that the city owns the park. Woo sox lease it so city is responsible for property taxes
Anonymous said…
Regarding Gary’s comment about subsidizing the airport versus the ballpark; the airport is transportation for the public, just like Union Station (also subsidized and had empty rental units for many years) and the free rides on WRTA (only partly the city’s burden).

A ballpark that generates profits for a few billionaires isn’t the same thing at all. If the ballpark closed it would not affect the public at all. If Union Station closed the people who rely on it to get to work would take a substantial hit.
Gary Samela said…
Not quite sure what you do for work or your education, but you seem to beresentful of successful people. Do you
know many people these billionaires employ?

The ballpark has already helped attract tens of millions in new economic development. Many other projects are getting close to being announced.That's a ton of money in new tax revenue, these residential, commercial and retail projects are going to employ quite a few people.

How about the hundreds of people (mainly from Worcester) that the ballpark employs? Coney Island and Polar Beverages are making a killing selling their products at the park. They also employ many Worcester residents. Almost all the printed and visual marketing materials are produced by local firms. How about the concerts that will happen at the park next year? They will draw thousands of people to our City. They will patronize the restaurants and bars in the Canal District. You just have very shortsighted views.

By the way, Worcester does have an effective air transportation system: It's called Logan, Bradley, TF Green and Manchester. Unlike the ballpark, if ORH closed tomorrow it wouldn't have any effect on our community.
Anonymous said…
One reason the ballpark is more profitable than other businesses is they may not be paying real estate taxes, which contributes to the community as well. As to the employment situation I don't know how many full time jobs the ballpark created but you need to ask is an investment of $175 million a good one for a number of seasonal part time jobs. I will say the WooSox did a good job with placing local restaraunts in the ball park but they increased the prices accordingly and I bet they get a portion of the sales. Their competition with the Canal District restaraunts and bars for patrons and parking will be something to watch in the future to see if all can co habitate. Ultimately they want you drinking and eating in the park.Finally, housing is the lions share of the new development. This was and is occurring in Worcester for years. Did Polar Park attract a new group of investors to the City, maybe but one could say the overpriced Boston market also contributed to developers coming to Worcester. Time will tell if this is a loss, profitable or a zero net sum gain. It's start isn't going well.
Anonymous said…
Gary, I certainly do not resent success. In fact I paid more in taxes last quarter than most earn in a year.

That’s my point. Everyone should play by the same rules.

As for the spillover effect on Canal District businesses, the time of the games itself tells you that the ballpark owners had no intent to help them at all. Starting a weekday game at 5:30pm means people leave work and go right to the park and eager and drink there while taking up parking spaces that those businesses outside the park rely upon. I actually talk to those owners

Your comment about the Coney Island, Wormtown, etc locals that got into the park pay a pretty pennny to be there and I am glad you mentioned them. Guess who they pay rent to? If you guessed the city that “owns” the ballpark you would be wrong.
Gary Samela said…
Nameless. I'm glad you're so successful financially, but I'm not sure if you're making that kind of money why you would complain about your property taxes? It confuses me, but good for you. I respect anyone that can achieve the American Dream.
Anonymous said…
The issue is a level playing field. Businesses in the Canal District either put forth their own savings or borrowed money (their own credit) to start their business whether it be a bar or restaurant. Now that small business is competing with the WooSox, whose brand spanking new ballpark was built on the City's credit. Assuming the small bar or restaurant has similar costs: wages, food and beverage costs,utilities and other operating costs, the WooSox have an additional financial benefit over the small bar or restaurant if they do not pay real estate taxes. I believe that was what the previous comment may have been trying to convey. A previous comment on one of the posts estimated the taxes being foregone was somewhere in the range of $5 million. Now if that does not make the playing field un level or unfair I do not know what does.
Anonymous said…
Gary, I’m complaining about my property taxes because only some of us have to pay them and others get a free ride. In the case of the ballpark the free ride is actually worse. The ballpark is extracting value from the taxpayers around it by stealing their customers and parking.

As for stealing customers, I’m all for competition. You take market share by doing something better than your competitors. When the city (or any government sector) puts a finger on the scale to tip it to you, that isn’t competition.

If I didn’t have to pay property taxes I could underprice all of my competitors by a wide margin and push them right out of business.When your competitors have to play by more punitive rules than you do, that’s just not right. And taxes go up every year with the punitive dual tax rate that unfairly burdens commercial properties.

This will get worse. How many more family owned businesses in the city have to close before the city wakes up? Last week alone it was Sahara and a Lucky’s (Luckys landlord couldn’t subsidize its rent any more and needed to get a tenant that could bear enough rent to shoulder the tax increase ). The city did this to them and it’s doing it to the canal district.

As for the concerts etc that will be at the ballpark, like the transportation argument that you make against ORH, there are plenty of concert venues right here in themcity and hundreds more if, like the transportation argument that you make, you are willing to make a drive as far as you would from Worcester to Logan airport. Add in other cities like Fall River, New Bedford, Springfield and Newport and now it’s thousands. Who needs the ballpark to hear live music?
Anonymous said…
the last comment says it better than I ever could.
Gary Samela said…
It's hard to have an intelligent conversation with someone that is delusional. I've come to the conclusion that you're just as much of a moron as Bill. I'm going to move on because I no longer find this blog interesting or informative.
Anonymous said…
It is not a conversation if you want someone to just listen and nod their head and just agree with what you say. I disagree with you about this blog. Since I started reading it last January I have at least have got other information about Polar Park, whether it be links to Worcester Business Journal which I never read before or articles that are posted from other sources. I actually have also become interested in the airport as well. I for one will keep reading just for other perspectives.
Anonymous said…
Gary, what is delusional about the actual facts of the tax rate. They are actual numbers enacted into law. Some pay at more than twice the rate and some don’t.

Some don’t have to pay and those that do get increases every year.

The city needs to deal with this in a way that isn’t just “I need to get re-elected to protect my forever free health insurance”

We have the ballpark and now we have to make it work. We have no choice. We also need to examine and publicize the blunders made so that it doesn’t happen again on another shiny object