Saturday, February 12, 2011

Rich Take From Poor as U.S. Subsidy Law Funds Luxury Hotels

For at least 3 decades that I know of, people have been battling in court trying to prove that the average wage earner isn't a person required to file and pay Income Taxs. Very few have been successful in convincing a JURY not to convict them of the charge "Willful Failure To File"

In fact, the last time anyone did win was Back in 2007 where the IRS failed to prove a constitutional foundation.

Talk to a school teacher, city or state employee, or federal employee and they all tell us that we must pay our fair share. Ok, let's see where some of that FAIR SHARE is going, then it's up to you to determine if it's REALLY FAIR or not. Remember, we put people in prison who refuse to "Voluntarily" pay.

$116 Million to renovate the Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago

The landmark Blackstone Hotel in downtown Chicago, which has hosted 12 U.S. presidents, opened in 2008 after a two-year, $116 million renovation. Inside the Beaux Arts structure, built in 1910, buffed marble staircases greet guests spending up to $699 a night for rooms with views of Lake Michigan.

What’s surprising isn’t the opulent makeover: It’s how the project was financed. The work was subsidized by a federal development program intended to help poor communities.

The biggest beneficiary of taxpayer help for the Blackstone revamp was Prudential Financial Inc., the second-largest U.S. life insurer. The company got $15.6 million in tax credits from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for helping to fund the project, according to Chicago city records, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its March issue.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, also took in money by serving as a lender and the monitor of Blackstone construction financing, city records show.

Since 2003, some of the world’s biggest financial companies, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., U.S. Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase and Prudential, have taken advantage of a federal subsidy that will cost taxpayers $10.1 billion -- and most of the public has never heard of it.

“This underscores the need to ensure the program is operating as efficiently as possible at a time when the government is under severe pressure to address the growing federal budget deficit,” says Michael Brostek, GAO’s tax issues director.

The Blackstone adjoins Chicago’s cultural hub, one of the most vibrant in the nation, and is miles from the city’s neediest neighborhoods. Prudential invested $9.3 million and made $30.4 million in loans, according to Chicago records.

Under New Markets rules, firms get a credit of 39 cents on the dollar, paid over seven years, for cash or loans they put in. For its contribution, Prudential collected $15.6 million in credits, according to a July 2008 JPMorgan project oversight report filed with Chicago. FULL STORY

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