By Pamela Cody
Special to the PRESS
The South Padre Island City Council met for its regular meeting Wednesday evening to award proclamations as well as to discuss tax abatements, the proposed skate park, and updates from the golf cart steering committee.
Mayor Patrick McNulty began the meeting by awarding three different proclamations. The first was to proclaim November 6 – 12 Fire Prevention Week. The second and third was to proclaim October 2019 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Councilman Kerry Schwartz informed the audience and his fellow commissioners about the latest developments regarding Anova LNG, mentioning the Cameron County Commissioners’ Court voted to give tax abatements for Anova LNG this past Tuesday, October 1.
“According to the Houston Chronicle, the estimated abatement is worth 375 million dollars,” Schwartz said. “Total abatements, so far, is about 750 million dollars, or about 70 million per year. In exchange, the agreement with Anova was they must hire 100 workers, and 35 have to be local. That’s 2 million for each local worker hired. Think about that, let that sink in.”
Schwartz went on, saying “It is in essence a free ride for these companies that want to come in and take advantage of what we have to offer, and it will affect our tourism. But the fact that we would give them a free ride – we have businesses on the Island that employ more people than this and they pay their fair share of taxes, they don’t get abatements. We’re talking three quarters of a billion dollars this county desperately needs. It’s one of the poorest counties in the country.”
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