In case you haven’t heard, Columbus-based Skybus Airlines shut down yesterday.

Almost immediately Matt over at Naug Blog jumped at the chance to rip on Mike Coleman and Columbus’s Democrats for helping bring the airline to town.

We shouldn’t mourn for the loss of a crappy airline service that had sloppy business model. But we should pity those abused taxpayers who will continue to be forced to hand over money to politically-connected private businesses.

The problem with his argument, and that of the Buckeye Institute as well, is that little if any tax money went to SkyBus directly. Certainly nothing near the $50 million they both are quoting.

According to the article they both cite, only $14 million was supposed to come from the city and that was in the form of incentives like tax credits and abatements.

The rest – $26 million – came from the Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA)- not the city or state. And this money was not given directly to the airline either. Instead, it was spent on “airport improvements such as additional restrooms and expanded security checkpoints” – something that will help all of the airlines and passengers traveling through CMH.

More importantly, NONE of the CRAA investments came from tax payer dollars.

According to the CRAA’s Financial Report, 100% of the funding for development projects comes from user fees payed by the airlines and passengers NOT FROM CITY OR STATE TAX DOLLARS.

If you guys really want to help “abused taxpayers” who are “forced to hand over money to politically-connected private businesses”- might I suggest focussing on for-profit charter schools?

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  • LOL. Great post!

    PS: You still read Naugle?

  • When he gets around to posting something – which isn’t very often – it usually comes up in one of my google alerts.

    I think I’ll add him to my reader though so I don’t miss a single word!

  • I would agree with you on this one.

  • Matt N.

    So a fee isn’t a tax? Interesting! And in a city or state budget, tax abatements don’t leave gaps in the budget that must be filled in from other revenue streams? Even more interesting!

    Oh, Ben. You are starting to make me realize how you get along with those unprofessional reporters at that ABJ rag.

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