Friday, September 12, 2003

Unfair deal to citizens

Unbelievably, no matter which state I travel through there seems to be a controversy over ethanol. Yes I said the United States renewable resource Ethanol. Last week it was Marshall, MO. This article was in the Marshall Democrat News, but here is an excerpt.

"I'm not opposed to the ethanol plant, I'm just opposed to the (tax abatement) deal," he said. "It's not the tax part, it's the fairness part to the citizens of the county. You're expecting everyone else to pay property taxes. It takes away even the obligation for sales tax.


Here is my letter to the editor printed Wednesday…

I wonder why? Why is the next generation leaving the farm? Why, in Saline County, is the average age of the populations under 18 and over 65 years of age 1% lower and 3% higher, respectively, than the entire state of Missouri? It may have to do with hypocrites that talk about saving the family farm in one breath and try to stab us in the back in the next.

I can’t believe what I heard while in Marshall for short time on Friday. There is a controversy over tax abatement on the farmers investing in Mid-Missouri Energy. This is not some New York Wall Street Company moving into Saline County to avoid paying taxes. All of the investors in Mid-Missouri Energy are farmers who are working and taking a risk in an attempt to add value to their farm products.

The last time I checked the property tax deposits for the county’s checking account, “farmland and farmers” were pretty well represented. I read the concern about “fairness to the citizens of the county.” How fair is it that Saline County has an average annual salary that is $3000 less than the state average? How can that be corrected? Not by setting back and waiting it to rain dollar bills. You must seek opportunities for increased income as these farmers are attempting to do.

Perhaps someone could explain to me which of these is a bad deal for Saline County or any rural community:

Ethanol is a value-added product of corn, which aids local and state economies and boosts profitability for producers.

Ethanol is a biodegradable alternative additive that provides consumers with a high-octane fuel at a competitive price.

One less barrel of imported oil is needed for every 28.3 gallons of ethanol used, which helps the U.S. balance of trade.

Ethanol reduces our demand for imported gasoline by 100,000 barrels each day.

Ethanol lowers harmful carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 30 percent.

Oh yes I understand that you are not against ethanol but you just don’t want it in your backyard. You just want things the way they used to be in the good old days right? Well, today is your lucky day, because the Amish communities in Missouri will gladly accept new members.

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