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Letter: Stan Muhammad
AEP can pay for marina
Friday, May 3, 2013
If I may, I like to critically think and share the same sentiments of D. Thomasson’s words on the Henry County budget (April 25). In addition to the tricknology of the so-called county level revenue for real estate taxes, which basically means we pay higher property tax rates as property owners. And pay more for what purpose? Perhaps as Thomasson mentioned — to build a marina.
The selective few plan for what they want by planning for the rest of us to pay for it. How many of the Henry County residents have boats versus the number of us who do not? And if any future revenue comes from this marina, where will those funds be placed?
In addition to this, Appalachian Power in our area has had rate increases within the past two years. Why? Perhaps we can look carefully into the head company of Appalachian Power, which is American Electric Power. The American Electric Power (AEP) Committee for Responsible Government has increased spending since the 1998 political election cycle, with $1.4 million in contributions in 2007-2008. And 57 percent of those contributions went to a particular political party.
Moreso, in 2008, AEP increased lobbying expenditures to over $11 million, and as of December 2011, lobbying expenses remained between $6 million and $10 million per year. AEP CEO Michael Morris in 2009 contributed $100,000 to a political endeavor.
Also, in December 2011, AEP was criticized by the Public Campaign organization for spending $28.85 million on lobbying, and not paying any taxes during 2008-2010, instead getting $545 million in tax rebates, despite the fact of making a profit of $5.9 billion and increasing executive pay by 30 percent to $23.7 million in 2010 for top five executives.
Now, here is food for thought, if you will: Here we have an electric company that gives millions in contributions and lobbying expenses. Then getting even more millions in tax rebates, plus not paying any taxes — and want the people of Henry County to pay more.
I have a suggestion, and it is absolutely free. If the selective few want a marina in Henry County, get American Electric Power to give from the $545 million in tax rebates; give from the $5.9 billion profit (going to investors); reduce the top five executives’ 30 percent pay increase to 15 percent; and reduce the $28.85 million for lobbying — and pay for the marina. And leave the rest of us alone. We pay our fair share already, versus AEP not paying from 2008 through 2010.