Suffolk should get out of land business

Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2015

To the editor:

We Suffolk taxpayers should be concerned about how we pay for land through our increased taxes. Yet when the land is sold, we never seem to benefit from the sale of city property. Since we own the property, we should benefit from its sale.

Taxpayers have bought many industrial parks, which are then given to the Economic Development Authority by City Council. The EDA then sells these properties and never seems to return the money to the citizens who paid for them.


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The EDA sold the old health department site on North Main Street, which we all owned, yet we the taxpayers never received a tax reduction from the money that was realized in the sale.

The EDA sold the property in the old Obici Industrial Park on Carolina Road. We, the taxpayers, had bought the property, but we did not see any benefit from the sale of those properties within the park. Where is our money?

On North Main Street, the old Obici Hospital site that we, the taxpayers, bought is now being sold to developers. The people wanted a park, but the developers won, and we who had bought the property lost and will never get back the tax money we had invested. We did, however, receive a tax increase.

The last straw was when it was reported that the EDA would give the Obici site’s developers $275,000 to help with their project. This money belongs to the taxpayers of Suffolk and should not be given away.

The Economic Development Authority has worn out its welcome and should be disbanded. The funds held by the EDA should be returned to our city treasurer.

Suffolk should get out of the real estate business, unless the property bought is for city use.

William H. Harward