Did you see the County Council meeting last Tuesday? Here’s a quick video recap:
Bel Air, MD July 16, 2012
On July 10th the Harford County Council voted 5-1 on a Resolution to grant up to $100,000 from taxpayers of Harford County to a multi-billion dollar company that manufactures TSA-used body scanners in Edgewood, MD.
The Harford Campaign for Liberty opposes this use of taxpayer dollars and will continue to work to inform the public about this legislation.
Resolution 12-15 was introduced by Council President Boniface, R – At-Large, at the request of Harford County Executive David Craig, R, via the Economic Development department. This resolution also authorizes the State of Maryland to lend $750,000 to Smith’s Detection Corporation, a London-based firm that specializes in Detection equipment like x-ray scanners and bomb-detection equipment. While it is called a loan the $750,000 is actually a gift. The “loan” requires no payments during the first 10 years & the “loan” is forgiven after 10 years. The “loan” gift from the state of MD required a 10% match of funds from Harford. Yet for some reason County Executive Craig proposed an increased tax payer gift from $75,000 to $100,000 from Harford.
The motion to approve the handout to Smith’s Detection was entered by Councilman “Capt’n” Jim MaMahon, District C. It was seconded by Councilman Dion Guthrie, District A. The roll call vote to pass 15-12 was as follows: For: Guthrie D-A, McMahon R-C, Shrodes R-D, Slutzsky R-E, Lisanti D-C. Against: Woods
You can see the video of the Harford Handout here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIJDFByKvdI
The role of government is to protect the rights and freedoms of the people and not to give taxpayer-funded handouts to large, wealthy, multinational businesses.
A vote in favor of this resolution was a vote in favor of crony socialism that works opposite the best interests of a free society & free markets. With this resolution the County Council is picking winners and losers in Harford County, and ought not be suffered by free people.
For information on the bill, see it here:
Fiscal note here:
Some Facts about Smith’s Detection–
Smith’s Group, PLC, is a multi-million dollar company based in London, UK. In 2011, they reported profits of $661MM. Here’s their website and the Consolidated Income Statement for 2011: http://www.smiths.com/ar11/consolidated-income-statement.aspx
-On 7/2/ 12 announced a $16.9MM contract with the federal government at Aberdeen Proving Ground to produce chemical agent detectors.
-On 6/29/12 announced a $248.5MM contract ,the largest ever, with the Army, for “non-intrusive inspection systems and hardware” to scan people, vehicles, and cargo in Afghanistan. The Army is expected to take delivery by 8/31/14 (The Obama administration has stated that almost all of our troops will be out of Afghanistan by 2014).
-On 4/9/12 announced a $27.5MM contract for chemical agent detectors, communications adapter kits, another military items.
-On 3/26/12 Announced a $122MM contract to supply detection systems to the Doha Airport in Qatar, UAE
-On 12/1/11 announced a Navy contract of $9.4MM for meteorological devices
Smith’s Detection’s location in Edgewood, MD received an Enterprise Zone Tax Credit. Since 2006, they have paid only 20% of their property taxes due to the County and State. This will phase out over time by 2016. They are also eligible for an income tax credit equal to at least $1,000 per employee hired at this location, and $6,000 per ‘economically disadvantaged’ employee over three years.
Clearly, Smith’s Detection is not in need of a $750,000 gift from the state of Maryland courtesy of the tax payer to expand their Edgewood facility nor $100,000 from Harford taxpayers to train their workers.
The Smith’s Detection Edgewood location currently employs 215 people, with plans to add 100 more jobs that will be moving to Edgewood from a location in Canada. There is no guarantee those workers will live in Harford. The average wage for these jobs will be $74,000 of which only $54,000 impacts the purported revenue stream to Harford County.
Call the County Council today to let them know your thoughts on the wealth redistribution from Harford & Maryland taxpayers to large multi-million dollar, multi-national corporations & their generosity with your money.
Council President Billy Boniface:
James “Capt’n Jim” McMahan
Richard C. Slutzky
Mary Ann Lisanti
County Executive David Craig
The mission of Campaign for Liberty is to promote and defend the great American principles of individual liberty, constitutional government, sound money, free markets, and a noninterventionist foreign policy, by means of educational and political activity.
The Harford Campaign for Liberty meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at 23 Newport Drive in Forest Hill, MD at 7PM.