Cecil County News

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Economic Development for who?

Some readers may remember this story published by the Cecil Whig in 2017.

“Council approves Lidl, ‘Project Melo’ business incentive loans”

The “unknown business” mentioned in the article is Stewart Properties.

The land used for Project Melo (Amazon) was also owned by Stewart. They acquired and developed the property with funds from these forgivable MEDAFF loans and resold it for a total of $120,000,000.00.

The Whig article explains that funds used for MEDAFF loans come not from tax revenue, but profits generated by the Hollywood Casino in Perryville (that Stewart Properties also developed). What they fail to understand or explain is that when the casino was built, it was promised that this income would be invested into the towns and the schools, not to subsidize developers and businesses that frankly do not need it.

While they’re getting the money that was promised to us as corporate welfare, our property taxes rose to pay expenses they were meant to cover, as well as vanity projects like the traffic circle on Blue Ball Rd, and the flashy new library that costs $18,000,000.00.

Both directly and through the Cecil Business Leaders PAC (of which Dr. McCarthy is a founding member), Stewart Properties as made significant donations to McCarthy’s campaign and those of his allies in the County Council, such as Joyce Bowlsbey.

The Council and Executive were unanimous in approving these MEDAFF loans for Stewart Properties.

The big question here is, why are we being taxed more while the county gives money meant to support us to their donors?

This cronyist behavior should be investigated as public corruption.


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