It’s official, Shire will leave Tredyffrin for neighboring East Whiteland Township

So close, yet so far away.  We have known for some time that Shire was planning to move its headquarters from its current Chesterbrook location but we now know where.  According to a press release on Main Line Media News, Shire has signed the paperwork for the construction of a 600,000 square ft. office complex on Trammel Crow property at Atwater Business Park.

Shire has grown significantly since coming to Chesterbrook in 2004 and as a result, the employees are spread among four buildings.  The company has expanded from 100 to 1,500 employees and apparently, there was not an option in Tredyffrin to create an adequate business complex.  The opening of the new Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange is a bonus to companies that relocate to Atwater Business Park that is at the intersection of Rt. 29 and Yellow Springs Road in Malvern, East Whiteland Township. The move is expected to occur by the end of 2015.

Because the relocation is literally next-door to Tredyffrin Township, the good news is that the employees that live in are unlikely to move.  Initially there was discussion that Shire was considering relocation possibilities in Delaware or New Jersey in addition to Pennsylvania but in the end, the decision was made to stay in Chester County.   The official statement included the following rationale Shire’s decision of the Atwater Business Park — “geographic accessibility by current and future staff, a flexible footprint that will allow us to meet future growth and changing business requirements, and a single, contiguous layout that facilitates interaction and collaboration by our staff.”

Now that Shire’s decision on ‘where’ they will move is official, the township is not only faced with the upcoming vacancy of four large corporate buildings in Chesterbrook but much more.  I would be remiss not to mention the enormous community contribution and support from Shire since relocating to Tredyffrin Township eight years ago – summer concert series, annual fireworks, Shire Pavilion in Wilson Farm Park, Tredyffrin 300 sponsorship, and the list goes on and on.  Shire has been there for the Tredyffrin Township community whenever needed – their departure from the township is a real loss.

Earlier this month, Philadelphia Business Journal reported that on a number of vacancies in Chesterbrook, which are addition to Shire’s current lease of 425,000 sq. ft. AstraZeneca terminated its lease on 25,000 sq. ft., Liberty Mutual Insurance ended its 25,000 sq. ft. lease early, GFK Healthcare relocated out of 50,000 sq. ft., Navteq pulled out of 40,000 sq. ft and Centocor moved from their 120,000 sq. ft. location.  These companies are either already out of Chesterbrook office park or are in the process of leaving.

Tredyffrin Township needs a an economic development plan for revitalization  … where’s the Tredyffrin Township Business Development Council on the corporate mass exodus from Chesterbrook?  Remember their June 18, 2012 report, click here.

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Update — Since posting this article, a friend pointed out that East Whiteland Township has an Earned Income Tax.  So … all those Shire employees who will continue to live in Tredyffrin Township and work in East Whiteland will pay an EIT.  But because Tredyffrin Township does not have an EIT, no portion of that money will return to Tredyffrin Township but will remain in East Whiteland.

From the East Whiteland Township website:

A .5% Earned Income/Net Profits Tax became effective April 3, 1996 by passage of Township Ordinance Number 110-96.  The tax requires that all persons living or working in the Township pay .5% on all individual gross earnings and net profits from businesses.

So much for the theory that companies will choose Tredyffrin Township because we have not implemented an Earned Income Tax.  Here’s a major international pharmaceutical company moving its headquarters from a location without an EIT to a new location with an EIT.

  • Will it ever be the ‘right time’ to honestly and openly discuss an EIT?
  • How many millions of dollars are leaving the school district and the township annually and being paid to other townships?
  • Or is the answer to TESD and Tredyffrin Township that we just keep cutting programming, personnel, etc. etc?
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  1. Patty,
    •How many millions of dollars are leaving the school district and the township annually and being paid to other townships?
    I think that this question was answered and told to us all last year by the committee looking at school funding and the EIT. THe answer was about $3M, but I may be wrong.

    •Will it ever be the ‘right time’ to honestly and openly discuss an EIT?
    I think that the answer was it may have happened last year. It seems as if people would rather have their property taxes go up than pay an EIT. They also would rather cut programs and people rather than raise taxes. The school board didn’t even recommend to the township that they put an EIT on the ballot becaue mostly likely it would loose very badly.

    When it comes to companies leaving, I agree it’s a negative, and I guess I would care more if I owned one of those buildings that are vacant. Why can’t the private citizens that own those building, just lower the rent? SUpply and demand.

    [Reply]

    CJ of the Main Line Reply:

    from the EIT Study document on tesd.net:
    >>>
    4,869 TESD residents paid an EIT totaling approximately $3.4M
    million which went to the municipalities where they worked.
    These residents represent approximately 26% of total TESD
    residents currently earning income. These taxes would be
    reimbursed to TESD up to the amount levied (1% maximum).
    • Additionally, some TESD residents work in Philadelphia and
    already pay the commuter wage tax.
    >>>

    So if this is from about 1/4 of the working people in the townships, you could estimate $14 Million if all paid it. That’s not an exact science, because many of those people may only be paying .5% not a full %. For some reason I thought the estimated # was $24 million at 1%. So the school district would split it with the townships.

    [Reply]

  2. Interesting…. I guess East Whiteland’s EIT is not so much of an inhibitor to large corporations as some TT folks believe.

    I wonder how many of the other Chesterbrook Corporate Center departures that are cited in PBJ are result of relocation rather then downsizing. Obviously there is nothing TT can do impact vacancies resulting from downsizing/mergers.

    [Reply]

  3. EIT would not have any effect on a business location unless the business was a self proprieter. A corporation does not pay on their Net Profits. An EIT only affects an individual and no affect on a corporation business income. A self propieter that files a Schedule C would pay on his net profits. The Business Privilege/Mercantile Tax would come into condsideration here wih corporations which neither East Whiteland or Tredyffrin Township have.

    [Reply]

    Not so fast Reply:

    Helpful Informant sounds a lot like someone who used to post here often under a different pseudonym…

    Anyway, thanks. I think we all get who pays the EIT, nevertheless it has been represented as an inhibitor to attracting new business into the township by many, incl some of our current BOS… It seems that the Shire move has proven that EIT is a not a major factor in the thought process. Maybe TT will need to be a bit more creative then simply a “just say no to EIT” campaign to attract and keep these businesses…

    [Reply]

  4. Thanks, Pattye, for highlighting the EIT aspects of this situation. Your conclusion is supported by the Vanguard testimony to the EIT study group, which was was not at all negative about an EIT. We have seen by their subsequent assessment appeals exactly how that business feels about the inexorable rise in property taxes.

    Gary, above, says:
    “It seems as if people would rather have their property taxes go up than pay an EIT.”
    Well, thanks to the failure of our politicians from both parties, but forced by the R’s “Just Say No” signs, we have no idea if this is true or not. What we do know, is that it would not be in the interest of the 1%.

    Of course, timing is important, as are parallel decisions about property taxes. We have to make sure that the $3 million that comes back to TE goes to educational programs and not to inflated salaries and purchased services.

    [Reply]

  5. if we had an EIT they would have left anyway Then some would blame the EIT.. can’twin But I am sure YOU have the answer to keeping them in the township>

    [Reply]

  6. Will it ever be the ‘right time’ to honestly and openly discuss an EIT?
    An EIT/PIT was discussed openly and extensively in 2007 and the referendum was overwhelmingly defeated. (YES 929; NO 5675)
    .
    Has anything changed? And please remember the 2007 referendum was a tax shift; not a tax increase Imposition of any new EIT would result in a net tax increase.
    .
    Some pertinent questions:
    Would the voting public vote to increase taxes to provide a “windfall” for the Board to spend?
    Would increased spending by the District result in a better education?

    [Reply]

    not so new post-er Reply:

    Good questions Keith. Raising taxes or enacting new ones does not work and is not the answer. Many townships have raised taxes and fees time and time again and still have dreadful budget problems. We need to deal with the underlying structural expense problems because no amount of taxation will keep up with the inflated salaries, ballooning pensions and almost free health we provide the school district employees.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    John,
    .
    I think a revenue neutral EIT/PIT would be in the best interests of most school districts in PA. I actively campaigned for one in our district in 2007. Yet it was easily defeated. (Yes, 1760 -No, 2817). Only one of 60 districts in the 4 county Phila area approved the EIT/PIT referendum and only 4 of 498 districts statewide approved it.
    http://www.suburbanrealtorsalliance.com/news/actone.htm

    And let’s remember that the 2007 referendum guaranteed that each additional dollar collected via the EIT/PIT would reduce RE taxes by a dollar – revenue neutral – there would be no windfall for inept school directors like me [smile] to waste. I’d be interested in your thoughtful analysis (sans disparaging terminology) on two questions.
    .
    1. Would you support an EIT referendum that was revenue neutral?
    2. Realizing the 2007 referendum was overwhelmingly defeated in TE (Yes, 929 -No, 5675), what would you do differently to ensure passage?

    [Reply]

    kevin Grewell Reply:

    John,

    I will be happy to debate you in public – starting right here (I had already written a lengthy reply but somehow it ended up in general comments -below – and not attached to your comment. I supply this hopefully more brief answere here):

    The 2007 Tax Study was mandated by Act 1 of 2006 and was a TAX SHIFTING scheme to move some taxation from property tax to either an earned income tax (“EIT”) or personal income tax (“PIT”). The income tax under sonsideration at that time would not have added any additional revenue to the school district. You are confusing the EIT now under discussion with the income tax under considerqation in 2007 AND THEY ARE TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

    The study group recommended, and the board placed on the ballot (as required by Act 1) a PIT because there was a lot of “unearned” income that an EIT would have missed, and a PIT was deemed to be more fair and also would have resulted in more significant property tax reduction. As noted, the referendum was overwhelmingly defeated. The tax study group did exactly what they were required and empowered to do under the specific terms of Act 1 – and nothing more. In fact, they (and the school board) had no legal authority to do more during the mandatory Act 1 process.

    THERE WAS NOTHING “INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST” ABOUT IT.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Grewell Reply:

    John –

    Of course a PIT is more fair and the report of the tax study group pointed that out. Do you not see the fairness problem in a young couple with two kids (just starting their careers and not making a lot of money) paying the EIT while someone with income from millions in investments pays nothing?

    [Reply]

    Just a thought Reply:

    John’s comments about Tea Party members and their “60+” supporters are very offensive. I am personally as opposed to the Tea Party’s platform as one can be, but I respect everyone’s right to state their beliefs without being ridiculed and mocked.

    This man has become a caricature – a buffoon – not for his beliefs but for the simplistic, nasty and uneducated manner in which he writes and attacks others.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    what do you, just a thought, find offensive about the tea party? self reliance? responsibility? accountability? Limited government, but effective govt? Rule of law?
    or do you prefer the Occupy Wall Street slobs, whose parents never taught them, to, say, clean up after themselves? Maybe that is extreme, but frankly I am tired of qualifiers like you made, without explanation. But I agree with your comments about John. You said it evidently better than I have in the past, more diplomatic perhaps for this board. Would love to hear from you! Eager to learn about your opinions, and to give them thought of my own. thanks!

    [Reply]

    Just a thought Reply:

    flyersfan – please read my comments again – I did not say I found the Tea Party offensive – I said John’s comments about the Tea Party members were offensive.

    The platform (my understanding of it, at least, based on the various Tea Party websites I have reviewed) of course sounds very admirable – who would not support cutting waste in government, honoring the Constitution, eliminating the budget deficit, etc?. It is in the way the Party advocates achieving those goals that I don’t , for the most part, support.

    For example, I would like to see a little more funding in social services for the underclass, in education, in medical care & research – and a lot less funding for certain defense efforts (such as keeping unnecessary military bases open or manufacturing obsolete weapons).

    I support the Constitution and it’s fundamental principles – but believe that it is not perfect or all inclusive (hence the need for 27 amendments to date) – and also believe that it needs to be interpreted within our modern social reality. (Recall that it was signed over 200 years ago by white males only, some of whom owned slaves.)

    I enjoy reading this blog because, despite the extreme rhetoric that sometimes appears, there are usually rational, informed discussions about issues, and I might just learn a thing or two!

    [Reply]

  7. ” a flexible footprint that will allow us to meet future growth and changing business requirements, and a single, contiguous layout that facilitates interaction and collaberation by our staff.”

    This says it in a nutshell. Tredyffrin had nothing to offer Shire in order to keep them here. Anyone who has seen the Atwater campus will realize how fortunate Shire will be by relocating there. We will miss all the benefits they provided Tredyffrin. They are a wonderful corporate friend; East Whiteland will love having them as such. At least they didn’t move out of state, but decided to stay in Chester County..

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    so now may be a good time to ask… whats up with the paoli train project?

    [Reply]

    Libby Reply:

    If you had attended Wednesday evening’s presentation at the township building which was well advertised, you would know.

    [Reply]

    flyersfan Reply:

    thanks for being so informative, Lilbby. What an obnoxious answer. I was treating patients, doing my job and wasnt able to run to meeting. what a despicable answer.

  8. “•Will it ever be the ‘right time’ to honestly and openly discuss an EIT?”

    By “honestly and openly discuss” I think you mean “adopt”.

    It seems to me the EIT has been discussed for years, or as long as I have lived in Tredyffrin. To the chagrin of those who support this tax increase, it has not been enacted yet. It may some day, it may never.

    There are legitimate arguments for enacting an EIT, and equally legitimate arguments against. To date, the township proponents have not carried the day.

    Believe it or not, Tredyffin is free not to adopt every tax increase lawfully permitted to it. And some significant portion of the citizenry likes it that way.

    M.A.

    [Reply]

  9. When Stanford Nishikawa presented the Business Development Advisory Council report to the Supervisors on June 18 he said the most important and least understood disadvantage of doing business in Tredyffrin is “the outdated office product”.

    He pointed out that the average office building in Tredyffrin is running about 30 years old, and warned that if you do not bring in investment dollars to keep the quality of those buildings up they’re going to continue to deteriorate and higher quality employers will leave the township.

    [Reply]

  10. John,

    Why aren’t you out knocking on doors to implement another tax? Plus, it is disgraceful of Pattye to allow that perjorative term on her site. Generally, Pattye’s standards are higher. I am hoping that was an oversight. We can disagree on issues but you actually hurt your cause with an approach that is hostile.

    [Reply]

  11. John,

    You and I have debated the act 1 tax study many times on this blog. This is for the benefit of readers, since I know you and I will never agree on this issue. A revenue producing eit should be thoughtfully and factually discussed. The reason it has not been, and likely will not be discussed is because of the tredyffrin township republicans. Anyone who has followed this blog knows that I was extremely critical of the republican behaviour in the last election. No need to repeat the details here, but you and I do agree about that. It was dishonest and did not serve the needs of the township at all. In fact it Sid damage to the body politic and made factual and respectful dialogue much more unlikely.

    But, I have to point out some facts regarding the 2007 act 1 tax study which you continue to confuse with the act 511 revenue producing eit.

    1) the act 1 tax study group was appointed by the school board under the specific provisions of act 1 which required it.
    2) the authority and task of the group was strictly constrained by the provisions of act 1. The group could not legally undertake the kind of study you would have liked to see. The tax study group did exactly what act 1 required, and no more. They did the task well.
    3) the act 1 eit (actually a broader pit was put on the ballot since there is a lot of “unearned” income which would not be touched by an eit) was not a revenue producer for the district. Not one penny of additional revenue would be produced.
    4) the act 1 income tax was strictly a tax shift from property
    Tax to income tax. The mandate of the tax study group was to evaluate that only – and that is exactly what they did.
    5) the eit you are talking about now is under act 511 – the local tax enabling act- which, as amended by act 1 now requires a ballot referendum to enact
    6) the more recent tax study by the school board did look at the issue of revenue producing eit under act 511. They developed the facts and figures. The problem is that the ttrc killed the idea politically. That is not the fault of the board or the members of the tax study group.
    7) even if we somehow got an eit on the ballot and it passed (unlikely at this time) it would not result in property tax reduction. It might relieve some pressure on property taxes and mitigate increases – but that is very speculative. People should understand that it is about additional revenue and not count on property tax relief when they think about an eit.

    Now, having said all of that, I think it is terrible that we cannot have a civil and rational discussion about this issue and other issues regarding school funding. I blame primarily the GOP for that, but the democrats also did not stand up to the bully, they retreated from the idea of even discussing an eit and did what they believed they had to in order to win the election (futile effort except for Karen who kept her seat). I am not happy with the level of political discourse in this district. I would hope that people would chose to be more respectful and factual in the future, but I fear that this hope may be unrealistic.

    [Reply]

    Township Reader Reply:

    Kevin–one issue we conveniently ignore when we blame the TTRC…we all have voices. The retreat away from the consideration lacked commitment. The electorate can only respond to,what they know. The signs were the only information put forward. The board membership is responsible to their mission, and could have taken the argument to the people. Easy, no. Impossible, no. In fact the EIT should begin with the BOS, who run the show. You remember how I was appalled by the $400,000+ in fees assessed by TT for the Conestoga renovation–as if the school district had an option about where to build, and the township levying costs on TESD for traffic modifications required on township,roads for township,residents to travel,to township schools …(iPad inserting the commas)…the expansion of the schools are due to development. So the tax grab by a township with 1% transfer tax for a school 1/2% tax results in double dipping….and much of that is due to the Tredyffrin belief that Easttown doesn’t pay it’s fair share. WHY do we have 501 school,districts? Why are we happy Shire stayed in CC? There are no common economic interests. Both BOS should study and implement an EIT for the benefit of the school,system which defines the qualitynofmthe two townships,,,Heck–even PATCH refers to our communities as TE now.

    [Reply]

    Kevin Grewell Reply:

    TR – I did also call the Dems out on the less than courageous response by suggesting that they caved in to the lies and bully tactics. But they did not start the race to the gutter, the R’s did that.

    [Reply]

    not so new post-er Reply:

    Kevin,

    Thanks for the information. I care about what is happening in our township but unfortunately have no idea what you and many others are talking about much of the time. Why do you blame the GOP for the lack of civil and rational discussion. Who is the bully and what did the republicans do to prevent rational discussion about a revenue producing eit. What was so deplorable about Repubican behavior in the last election.

    And last but not least why is John so angry? If the answers to these questions are too complicated to answer on this blog, please direct me to the info and so can figure it out myself.

    Also, Reader, months ago you wrote that your health care ideas won’t be considered because the administrators use the same plan. What did you mean by that?

    [Reply]

    Kevin Grewell Reply:

    Not so new – here is the text of an email I sent to the board on this very subject, which explains the basis for that charge and the facts which support it:

    To the School Board:

    I was not able to attend the November 14 Special Meeting, but I just watched it on channel 20. I wanted to make some comments regarding the issue of whether, and to what extent, it is appropriate for board members to comment on political matters such as the conduct of a school board campaign.

    Generally, I am in agreement with Debbie Bookstaber that such comments are not in keeping with the board’s non-partisan status. However, in this instance, I feel that the board was compelled by extraordinary circumstances to address serious distortions of fact which were deliberately promulgated by the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee (“TTRC”). In fact, I commend Mr. Mahoney, Dr. Motel, and Dr. Brake for specifically confronting the TTRC on this issue.

    You are all well aware of the facts. However, for the record, and because I am going to request that this email be sent also to the new board members-elect (who may or may not be aware of the truth of the matter), I will briefly recap the salient points.

    The decision to appoint a tax study group to evaluate the pros and cons of an Earned Income Tax (“EIT”) was made by the full board and was authorized by vote during the October 25, 2010 board meeting. The motion passed 7-2. The decision was apparently made because the district faces large budget deficits and the consensus among the board members was that it would be prudent and responsible to consider all options for additional revenue. I understand that the two dissenting board members only voted against the motion because they preferred a more direct and urgent timeline to place an EIT on the ballot for approval by the voters. Thus, the decision to study the EIT was an action of the full board, which consisted of 6 Republicans and 3 Democrats.

    During the recent school board election, the TTRC conducted a negative campaign of disinformation based entirely on the TTRC’s opposition to an EIT. The campaign began with signs stating” “NO EIT Vote Republican.” These signs were misleading in that they implied that an EIT was on the ballot (which it was not) or that the school board had the power to enact an EIT (which it did not) and that voting Republican would prevent the school board from taking an action which by law it was not even empowered to take. In fact, I worked the polls for 12 hours on election day and personally witnessed a number of voters who were misled into believing that an EIT was on the ballot. I also have received several reports of the same. Moreover, the signs implied that the entire EIT study was a Democratic initiative, when in fact it was supported by the full board including 6 Republicans.

    The dishonest campaign continued with a series of mailers, all containing essentially the same message. The first of these stated, in pertinent part: “Tredyffrin’s Democratic School Board Team Wants to Implement an Income Tax . . .” and: “has begun the process of creating a new tax – an earned income tax . . . ” The “process of creating a new tax” could only refer to the creation of the tax study group. The mailer is untruthful – and absurdly so – on several levels. First, as stated above, the decision to study the EIT was a full board decision, and not an initiative of Democratic school board members alone. Second, the “Democratic School Board Team” included several candidates who never served on the board. They could not have been involved with “beginning the process” by creating a tax study group since they were not even on the board. Finally, Mr. Bruce, the TTRC’s incumbent Region 1 candidate, voted in favor of the tax study. According to the logic of the Republican mailer, the TTRC’s own candidate – Jim Bruce – “wants” to implement an income tax, and “has begun the process of creating an new tax.” Given these facts, I cannot escape the conclusion that the TTRC deliberately lied in order to win the election. *

    The Republicans, of course, could have simply taken a position on the EIT and left it at that. But they went far beyond the boundaries of legitimate campaigning. They misled the public, to the great detriment of the citizens, taxpayers, and school children. These were not harmless lies. The school district faces significant deficits which threaten the quality of the program. What is needed is a civil, factual, rational discussion about funding our schools. The Republican campaign does nothing to help educate the public on the realities of school finance, budget deficits, and options to solve the problem. To the contrary, such dishonest and fraudulent campaign tactics make civil and factual public discussion all but impossible.

    Moreover, the bitter partisanship – which will undoubtedly cause lasting hard feelings – undermines the ability of the school board to discuss this important topic in the respectful, non-partisan way which has served our district so well in the past. Finally, I note that this kind of campaigning sets a very bad example for our young people, and in part explains why so many of them grow up cynical and apathetic with respect to politics, to the great detriment of our community and our country. Do not be misled into thinking that our children pay no attention to such matters – I assure you, they do. As a long time volunteer with the Boy Scouts and other youth organizations, I have often heard children express their disillusionment with politics. The reason most often cited? “Politicians lie.”

    The board has long had a policy of respectfully correcting factual errors and misstatements made by citizens at public meetings. This right – and duty – to correct the record for the good of the students and the process extends also to false and fraudulent political speech, when, as here, such speech does significant harm to the school district and the community.

    Thank you for your service and best wishes,

    Kevin Grewell
    TE Board 1999-2007

    *I do not believe Mr. Bruce had anything to do with the false campaign, but I do wish he had corrected the record in public during the campaign.

    Please circulate this also to newly elected board members, when seated.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Kevin, Thanks for providing your email to the school board.

    not so new post-er Reply:

    Thanks Kevin, this is what I was looking for.

    flyersfan Reply:

    Kevin, I am curious about the boards and maybe the voting publics concern about enacting an EIT or PIT.. wasnt this discussion parallel to the concerns of the school board that any new revenue would be a slam dunk for the teachers during the negotiations for a new contract.. there would be more money in the “pot” and therefore a perceived if not real concern that the school board would have no leverage because the money “was there?” Perhaps I am confused but is there some truth to this? Then, also, there would be 2 tax mechanisms to RAISE taxes as well, something that didn’t sit well with someone? Thanks for your input.

    Kevin Grewell Reply:

    Not so new –

    I should add that there are great people in the local GOP. I think the same can be said of the Democrats. The problem is that both parties also have their share of more extreme partisans – folks who can get carried away.

    [Reply]

    not so new post-er Reply:

    O.K. I’m going to start paying attention.

    flyersfan Reply:

    yes Kevin, the democratic process is messy. Just look at the mess we are in, well nationally as an example. Locally too…

    not so new post-er Reply:

    It does and it would it be so difficult for you to express yourself in a less offensive hostile manner so maybe you just might influence some people who haven’t made up their minds yet.

    [Reply]

  12. Sorry, John, but Shire made it pretty clear that what they wanted was something the BOS couldn’t provide no matter what: a single, contained office building.

    That has nothing to do with an EIT or – actually – anything that the BOS, elected officials, etc. can control. Unless, of course, you are advocating that township taxpayers take over land, knock down buildings and rebuild new ones.

    [Reply]

    Not so fast Reply:

    Actually, Shire made it pretty clear that an EIT wasn’t the disincentive to business that some of our BOS have repeatedly claimed. TTBOS and the TTRC are the ones who have made these type of business decisions about EIT, not us.

    [Reply]

  13. Thanks Sean–but the property owners of the commercial sites are the people you need to convince, right? Market forces are allowing tenants to leave for newer deals, which usually accrue to the benefit of the tenant. The building owners may be REITs in Chesterbrook at this point, and the buildings are fully depreciated. The incentive to modernize them would be based on rentals likely to result. perhaps a study of the property owners would guide the approach to how to encourage updates that this down market does not seem to prompt.

    This, by the way, happens in any place that has such small regions, each with their own planning and zoning rules. Businesses do shop and look for the next good deal. When a business buys land and develops it for themselves, as opposed to renting, that is a true investment in the community that should be nourished..ie not a deep pocket for property tax revenue.

    The whole notion of an EIT is moot for the schools, as voters need to enact it. That won’t happen because …. Well, it won’t happen. I said at the last election that failure to allow a referendum to consider it–where some effort to understand the issues was communicated (and not by John’s profane tea bag references…no one listens to shouting), we all fail. And when Vanguard gets their assessment appeal, we will all feel the pain. The BOS can enact it on their own I believe? An analysis of the fundamentals would seem to at least encourage a tax study by them? or am I misinformed?

    [Reply]

    Kevin grewell Reply:

    I recall that the supervisors do not need to put it to a referendum. If I remember correctly, act 1 only imposed that requirement on school boards.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Kevin, Your recall is exactly what I remember — the School Board is required to take it to the voters as a referendum but the BOS can enact the EIT without voter referendum.

    [Reply]

    Keith Knauss Reply:

    No! The school board cannot opt in for 50% of the township’s EIT revenue. Any EIT revenue for a school district must be enacted via referendum.

  14. Thanks Pattye for this site. There are important issues to discuss and investigate.

    This will be my last post here. The fact that you allow someone like John to get away with slurs is unacceptable.

    People from both sides of the aisle (myself included) rushed to support you when you were treated unfairly. I guess it is asking too much for you to illustrate that being fair is a 2 way street. It is beyond the pale that you would allow this person to use those terms here. I have had comments that were nowhere near as offensive as his and they never made it out of moderation.

    Once again I have to learn a simple lesson. The left expects fairness and decorum from the opponents but never from themselves.

    Again, thanks for a great site and I wish you well in the future.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    MD, Thank you for your past contributions to CM — your voice is always a welcome addition.

    [Reply]

    not so new post-er Reply:

    MD I believe John resorts to name calling and emotional outbursts because he knows many on this site do not agree with the merits of his arguments. (And I agree with him quite often) I find his frustration and intolerance and tendancy to degrade and demean people further evidence that it is difficult for some not to self destruct into demonizing couterparts rather than debate the merits of an argument. When people let feelings get in the way of rational thought, it’s probably best to stop listening, but don’t walk away.

    Like Patty, I thank-you for your past comments and hope you reconsider your decision.

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    Keith Knauss Reply:

    MD,
    .
    I think you are comparing apples to oranges. Pattye runs a forum where all voices are welcome to comment, pro and con, on various issues. I expect sarcasm, personal attacks, innuendo and falsehoods. While I’d rather the discussion to be civil, I’d rather have uncivil comments rather than censorship. It’s all part of a forum.
    .
    In contrast, the BOS criticized a citizen using the township’s website and letterhead implying official endorsement where no rebuttal was possible – quite a different situation.
    .
    I encourage you to “stick around”.

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    Kevin Grewell Reply:

    Keith – as a former board member, I can relate to your comment that you “expect sarcasm, personal attacks, innuendo and falsehoods.” Yep – school board service all right!

    But you have to let everyone have their say, even when they express themselves in a manner which some would deem offensive.

    .

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    not so new post-er Reply:

    Keith,

    I agree that all voices are welcome to coment, pro and con, on various issues. I do not however expect personal attacks yet I’m not surprised by or offended by sarcasm innuendo and falsehoods.

    Name calling and demeaning the value of a human counterpart because it’s easier than debating the merits of an argument is wrong and it is designed to shut down voices like MD and other community members who have great points but may be afraid or unwilling to speak up because they don’t have the desire to read about how John feels about them in the next posting.

    I am interested in meaningful debate and mutually beneficial conversation. There is nothing meaningful or beneficial when John abandons intelligent conversation and allows his emotional thought processes to take over his rational thought processes.

    I enjoy reading Johns’ posts when he is rational and his obvious intelligence, experience, knowledge and insight over power his sometimes inability to quell those stunningly annoying emotional rants.

    MD please do not let John shut you down.

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  15. Let me make a leap here and say that it is very, very unlikely that our moderator even KNEW what John was saying was so vulgar. John knew it, which is why he made such a lame response about thicker skin. . So MD, if you had a post or two moderated away, I might suggest you used commonly understood language. Be happy Pattye is free of such street banality…

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  16. John —

    “Those that protest and say they will go away don’t”

    that’s funny since a few years ago on this blog you protested, promised to move it TTGOP won (which they did) yet stayed.

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  17. Whew…lots to digest. I hope you are all safe and with power on this day.
    Interesting comments on the EIT but I believe Shire’s decision was made for the reasons they stated even though their employees will soon be hit with a new income tax levy. I don’t think the employees were polled regarding a corporate relocation of this magnitude and I don’t believe East Whiteland will be receiving any “Thank You” letters from Shire employees whether their new tax is returned to their home communities or not. In this case, the decision was made in spite of the tax.
    For those who do not see an EIT as a driver of economic activity, try to look at it in this light: the owners of the to-be-vacated Shire space will soon be looking for a new tenant…their success will bring economic activity to our community. Now ask yourself: if we instituted an EIT tax today; would it make it easier (or harder) for the property owners to attract a new, high-quality tenant???? The owners will be pitching, as they have in the past, a quality suburban office park in a stable community with a benign tax structure and no EIT…it does matter to their efforts…

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  18. As stated in other considerations by the tax study group, an EIT implies the EIT is a solution to the TESD budget problems when it is not. The budget deficit projections escalate each year and voting in an EIT at .5% or 1% will not solve the problem. Asking the electorate to pay more taxes, without a date in which the tax solves the budget need is questionable, and does not solve the root cause of the problem which as you all know, in my opinion, inflated expenses. Until we address the expense side of this matter, no amount of taxation will keep up with rising projected expenses.

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  19. At the November 20th meeting with the Econsult group on the subject of commercial zoning in Tredyffrin, the consultants were asked a simple question: Why are thiese companies leaving Tredyffrin? The answer was that the question was not asked.

    The Township has spend $100,000 of taxpayer money on a study that did not as the simplest of basic question. Has anyone interviewed these companies to ask why they are leaving? Simple questions are apparently not within the capacity of the Township.

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