Wednesday, January 25, 2006

My statement before Pgh City Council @ No TIFs (again) and real help from PNC

My name is Mark Rauterkus. My family and I reside at 108 South 12th Street, South Side of Pittsburgh. I am a candidate for the now open seat for city council, district 3. That special election is slated for March 14, 2006.
Five years ago, I didn't like our great city's propensity of giving away large sums of land and money to corporations and non-profits. Mayor Murphy's economic plans were a sure-fire pathway to a large economic crisis.

Five years ago, I ran for Mayor. I said then, "NO TIFs." TIFs, as you all know, are Tax Incremental Fiance plans, corporate welfare, and tax breaks. The practice of TIFs should be abolished.

I said NO TIFs in 2000. I stand by the same statements today.

Last year, I ran for State Senate and a part of my plan was to change the law in Harrisburg to prohibit TIFs.

I've gone on the record with the county and the school district, speaking against the TIFs at places such as Deer Creek Crossing.

The PNC Plaza TIF should NOT be approved. I don't like TIFs because they do not work. Lazarus and Lord & Tayor are proof enough. We need to stop the bribes to get people to move or expand in the city.

We are on EMPTY. The city does not have the money.

A $30-million grant was aready given to PNC from the state. Harrisburg money is my money as well. Plus, local sources already built PNC Firstside a new T-stop and a new parking authority garage. They are under utilized. PNC knows how to play you like a fiddle.

I sing a different tune. I conduct my campaigns without money from gambling interests, developers who want to make speculations and engineering firms expecting kick-backs.

Presently, our school district is running into serious money troubles. Schenley High School -- a high performing school with a great mix of kids and academics -- is in an old building, laced with asbestos.

I'd rather take the $18 million and re-do Schenley High School -- now -- for our kids that are here. Don't rob from them.

The TIF takes money from some and gives it to others. Have everyone pay their fair share. Furthermore, TIFs hurt competition. Others won't want to move, build nor expand here because the playing field is not level. We need to cater to those who want to compete and perform. We need to be self-reliant.

If PNC wants to help the local landscape -- let's talk about Campaign Finance Reform.

Last week, my campaign issued a statement about campaign finance reform. I am interested in putting my campaign funds into a new type of TRANSPARENT PAC account. The financial institutions, such as PNC, are needed to establish this type of account so that everyone, using the internet, can see where and when public transactions are coming from and going to for races for public offices.

PNC, this is where you are needed.

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