Belleville welcomes FCB Bank of Swansea to town with a $22,000 gift. The City Council on Jan. 21 approved giving First County Bank this taxpayer money by creating yet another Tax Increment Finance. Belleville already leads all metro-east municipalities in the number of TIFs.
This writer addressed the council, asking that they vote not to approve the money for a bank with almost $390 million in assets. I stated that the city's actions go against free enterprise. Belleville gets to choose winners and losers. I brought up the $ 802,000 Belleville gave Wagner Motor Co. over the years as reported by the BND. I suggested that, this winner turned out to be a real loser. Property taxpayers of course also loose. Belleville's property tax having risen 70 percent since 2004 according to county records.
I applauded First County Bank on their success and for wanting to come to Belleville. I borrowed from President Kennedy's quote, "ask not what the city of Belleville can do for you, instead ask what can you do for the city of Belleville."
William H. Bremen Sr.