Penn Tech hides behind a curtain of deception

Editor, The News:

Penn Tech came to town wanting to impress city council and New Castle citizens with an Emerald City of 14 jobs, $1 million in sales and $20,000 to $40,000 in property taxes while hiding behind a curtain of deceptive assertions.

Let’s look behind that curtain.

First, they will not actually run the proposed Dollar General store and therefore will hire no one. Interviews with a former Dollar General hourly employee and manager, as well as information obtained online, indicate this store’s yearly wages will be just over $100,000 multiplied by the city’s current wage tax of 2.1 percent for a yield of $2,100.

The smokescreen sales figure of $1 million, even if it is true, will only yield $1,500 based on the city’s mercantile tax rate of .0015. Penn Tech admits Dollar Generals do not attract out-of-town customers. All customers will be local, probably from North Hill neighborhoods thus cutting into sales of existing North Hill stores such as Walgreen’s, Tic-Toc and 7/Eleven. Thus sales generated will mostly be sales from other stores which are already being taxed. Total new mercantile tax will be almost non-existent and well below $1,500.

As for property tax, figures from the city show that the two Dollar General stores in the city each pay $7,500 to $8,000 annually. The difference between current taxes on the property and the amount being paid by the existing stores will be less than $3,000.

Total increase to the city of New Castle – about $6,000.

Additionally there is the potential to lose both the Tic-Toc and 7/Eleven stores with their mercantile, wage and property taxes. Add to that the lessening of resale value of homes near the proposed store. Many residents have much of their net worth tied up in their homes. Is it fair to ask them to sacrifice that for the smoke and mirrors of Penn Tech?

Luanne Fabry

New Castle

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