Bryan Townsend upends the traditional sales pitches states make to Corporations

As a sort of rejoinder to former Governor Markell’s op ed in the New York Times, state Senator Bryan Townsend (D) has published an op ed in the News Journal making much the same argument: make your state or city attractive to corporations by building it up, not giving away its tax dollars.  As Cassandra says in her post on Markell’s change of heart, the key to Delaware’s future sales pitches is to “invest in the stuff that makes the state an attractive place to locate or start a business; invest in the stuff that no one can take away from you, that you can market to others down the line.”

The question is how to do it. Because in order to invest in and to build up your state or city with new and improved infrastructure, low crime rates, a better healthcare and education system, and an inclusive culture open to all, you need to spend money.  Yes, Republicans, things cost money.

Markell had his idea: “Congress should institute a federal tax of 100 percent on every dollar a business receives in state or local incentives that are directed specifically to that company. This would not include investments in public infrastructure, work force development or other investments that can attract employers while also providing a significant long-term benefit to taxpayers.”  That is a national solution.   That is because Markell has national ambitions (a Senate run to replace Tom Carper in 2018 or at least Secretary of Commerce in the Harris Administration in 2021?), or at least, a national focus now.

What about Delaware?   This is what Senator Townsend says:

“To secure this future, Delaware must reframe its fiscal and revenue models, constantly evaluate programs and spending, rebalance the fiscal relationship between state and county governments, and marshal all its resources around a common purpose: setting the stage not only to attract companies like Amazon, but also to foster growth for businesses that are already here.”

Yes, that means we must change our income, corporate and LLC tax structure.  New brackets (plural) and rates added to the top of our tax brackets for those who are wealthy are necessary.  We must change how we fund our school districts.  We must pass some kind of gas tax or funding mechanism that funds infrastructure improvements.  We can be the Amazon of States, but we have to choose to be.  Sticking with the same old tired budget cuts and tax cuts every late June means we get the same old tired results.  I loved how President Trump, in response to the realization that we need to spend billions to recover from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, argued for tax cuts.  No.  The rich and wealthy, both in human and corporation form, do not need any help.  Instead, it is time for them to help the communities, states and country they profit from.

If we continue the way we have been, it means we deprive our state of much needed funding, which damages our communities, our education system, our infrastructure and our education system, which then in turn makes us less attractive to the Amazons of the world.




Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

28 comments on “Bryan Townsend upends the traditional sales pitches states make to Corporations

  1. “We must pass some kind of gas tax or funding mechanism that funds infrastructure improvements.”
    It wasn’t until this year, that the Dems in Delaware, stopped taking monies from the Transportation Trust fund.
    Townsend is just piggy backing off of Markell, who gave away the house to business’ in DE. Typical Dems, can’t think outside the box for themselves.
    The one thing I do agree with, DD is that Markell is trying to keep himself relevant, for this career politician! THAT is why we should have term limits!

  2. Given a choice of dozens of career politicians in Delaware, you misidentify Markell as one, when he quite famously made tens of millions of dollars in the private sector before running for treasurer. You couldn’t be more wrong.

    Every budget that used TTF money — that’s what humans call it, “monies” is something government dorks say — was approved by virtually all Republicans. So you’re wrong about that, too.

    Are you brain damaged, or do you just enjoy embarrassing yourself?

    • @Alby. That is exactly what he want’s to be! He is setting himself up to be a career politician. Trying to back track, on the very things that he did wrong in DE! “Brain damaged” you shouldn’t classify people that way. There are persons with disabilities, that struggle every day, YOU should be ashamed at yourself!

      • Anono, could you please go back to our discussion on the Open Thread and answer the questions posed. Thanks!

      • By leaving the Gov’s office and not running for anything else. You have a pretty weird idea of what a career looks like.

      • I actually know the guy, and I don’t think he’s the least bit interested in being a career politician. And my wife is brain damaged. Four strokes. Grow some skin.

  3. This guy’s off the cuff remarks is someone we don’t need as a public servant.

    • Which guy? I’m generally unimpressed by Townsend, but if he’s making an enemy of Smyk, I’m impressed.

      Nothing I hate more than double-dipping ex-cops “serving” the public.

  4. Let’s see what the Senator will do about this!

  5. Man, but you’re stupid. John Nichols has been talking about this for years and nothing has happened and nothing ever will.

    If you’re under the impression that the state GOP would crack down on businesses more than the state Democrats, you need to take a long dip in Rehoboth Bay. With your mouth open.

    • Alby, The Democratic Senator made the remarks. SO, he should back up his remarks and do something about this situation. Which our former Governor, who was also a Democrat, put us in! So, just put your head, back in your sand box.

  6. He “should”? Says who? You? Why do you think your uninformed version of conservatism will get you anywhere on a liberal blog?

    • @Alby, The Senator came out and made a statement, trying to piggyback off of the former Governors comments. Now, back what you say, with actions! And, I’m talking about a specific situation. Bloom Energy was and is a total joke!
      1. Natural Gas is NOT a renewable energy, that is a fact.
      2. Twenty-five years of $1 a year rent from the University of Delaware’s 1743 Holding LLC, to attract the company to its STAR Campus as its first tenant.
      3.The pollutant of concern is benzene, a known carcinogen. ARE they going to clean up that mess?
      4. Who is watching the mint? There is no clauses, in their contract which says; “if they don’t meet hiring quotas, then they do not get X amount of monies.
      5. Look at their jobs; most are the hiring of people in California AND we are funding it.


      And guess who is building cars in CA……….Karma, a takeoff of Fisker!

      The money that we are handing to Bloom, could be going to education and much needed infrastructure in the state!

      AND guess what, yes, I can say I want our elected officials to do something, WHY, because they work for us and if they don’t do something, we can work to get someone else to take their place!

      Happy Sunday!

      • My point is that this isn’t the place to get anywhere saying so. I agree with you, but so what? This is nowhere near the top of my priority list for Delaware.

      • cassandram

        The benzene is not in the ground around Bloom, it is in canisters from part of their manufacturing process. As far as I can tell the (really dumb) exemption was around how long the canisters could stay on site. Once the canisters were transferred to the waste hauler, they treated them as hazardous. Which should mean that the actual waste is disposed of properly.

        And there is a clawback in the Bloom contract. I think they are coming up on their milestone too — 900 jobs by Oct or Nov 2o17. Don’t recall how much it is, but you could look that up too.

        So if you have a better proposal, why don’t you get with Bryan and make it? Peddling about of resentful and inaccurate shit here doesn’t make any change in this business at all.

        • @ Cassy Show me the documentation and proof of their job quota! As of October 29, 2016, they have only hired 277, positions.
          Of course, you FAIL to skip the Natural gas issue! Also, my point is our elected officials should be held accountable, for what they say!

          • Again, if you want to address the politician, his own office is a better place to go than a blog that fundamentally disagrees with you on the issues.

            • So, it’s ok for our elected officials, to say things and not hold them accountable. It’s a perfect opportunity, to step up.

          • cassandram

            So how if you provide me with proof that there is no clawback? Google works both ways.

            • Typical, Answer a question with a question!

              • cassandram

                So you are here making claims that have no basis in fact then. As usual.

                • @Cassy. The fact is we were forced into this tax! But, for you it’s ok, because it was put together by a Demo Gov. and they can’t do no wrong. The clawback money is a drop in the hat, compared to the money that is being put out.

                  AND you still won’t answer the question.

                  • cassandram

                    I don’t think you remember the question — how do you know there are no clawback provisions? Show your homework.

                    • @Cassy, back at you….Show me the documentation and proof of their job quota!

                      And I answered your question; typical liberal, you see only what you want to see!
                      “The clawback money is a drop in the hat, compared to the money that is being put out.”

  7. They do it all the time. They did it before you were born, they will do it after you’re dead. My objection isn’t to your opinion, it’s to your insistence that this is the proper forum to express it.

    As I said, I agree with you about these issues. But I never heard a single conservative EVER complain about corporate welfare until Democrats started handing it out. When you get to the show this late, you’ll have to excuse us if we don’t take your umbrage too seriously.

    • Listen, we agree. I don’t and never thought the government should be handing out these giveaways. No one helped me, I took out a second mortgage.

      • Sorry to hear that. Anyway, the real topic here is good government. The little people on both sides agree about that, but the big people on both sides don’t — at least, not when it comes to the special help they all want from government.

  8. SussexWatcher

    The Harris Administration?

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