Based on your editorial ‘Crossroads For Kia’ it would seem you, the taxpayers of Troup County and, one would hope, Troup County’s elected leaders are finally realizing that when the Kia people, the state of Georgia and Troup County negotiated the deal that brought Kia here, the most inexperienced people at that table were taken to the proverbial cleaners.
What everyone should realize is that Kia is a very large business. It’s running will be conducted in a manner that best benefits Kia. You can be assured Kia will think Kia first and not local interest first. That’s real world.
It is true Troup County provided tax abatement, millions spent on infrastructure, fire protection, free housing for Kia executives, the list goes on and on. In providing all this and more, Troup County taxes are among the highest around and must continue to be high to support all the ongoing cost of bringing Kia here. Unfortunately Kia’s taxes will not contribute to the cost for many years.
That’s not Kia’s fault. They acted as any business would and asked for all they could get and more. Those people representing Troup County gave it to them. Not necessarily a bad thing. This area desperately needed Kia or something like it to give this depressed area of the states economy a boost. However, that being said, the taxpayers of Troup County and their elected officials should not expect most Kia employees to buy homes, shop and spend their money in the high tax area of Troup/LaGrange/West Point when low tax areas exist (if not now then later) to the West and South all within easy commute to the new Kia plant and its suppliers.
Kia and their new employees don’t owe Troup County a thing. You will have to earn their business and support and a good start would be for our elected officials to get control of spending and reduce taxes. Being a realist I certainly don’t expect that to happen. What I expect to hear is more whining about all the Kia jobs going to Alabama, suppliers building plants in Muscogee County ad Kia employees eating and shopping elsewhere.
One could hope that if our elected officials don’t stop posturing and pointing their fingers at the state and Kia and correct this problem they should have seen coming the taxpayers of Troup County will elect leadership that will. If it is not corrected, one can expect to see a lot of development to the West and South of here that we taxpayers of Troup County will be paying for well into the future.