When I read your Page 16, April 8 editorial, ``Scrap tax abatements,'' I thought I must have picked up an anti-business newspaper. Then, I saw that the publication was published in Ohio. Apparently the editor could not write an unbiased article. I find it unfair to place tax abatements in the light of ``corporate welfare.'' Corporations pay their share of taxes, and in states such as Ohio, more than a fair share. We purchased a firm in Ohio, and immediately learned that Ohio is not a state where a corporation should expand, for tax and labor reasons.
My firm was started in St. Louis about 14 years ago. We outgrew our site, and searched within the St. Louis region for new facilities. The city of St. Louis offered me no reason to stay. I was offered a tax abatement program in a community 60 miles from St. Louis.
Our firm made expansion plans in this community, and we now employ more than 140. We have a 60,000-square-foot facility and are building another 25,000-square-foot facility. Yes, we still get tax abatements, but this community benefits from the substantial tax base resulting from sales taxes, property taxes, etc., from those 140 workers.
When I started my business, I had to pay federal, state and local taxes before I could pay myself a salary. I never received any financial breaks from the government; in fact, it always has been a drain on growth. I will gladly give up your ``corporate welfare,'' if they just let business keep its fair share. Recently, the government spent six months of my time and money trying to find taxes that I owed. I can state that it owed me in tax credits. I am willing to give up ``corporate welfare.'' I can also give up ``governmental theft'' from business earnings.