Sunday, September 4, 2011
Be Careful What You Wish For
Depending on your point of view, the decision by a Brisbane firm to move out of that North County village to much larger quarters in Visalia is either a wise business move or a betrayal. Brisbane officials, some local politicians and the union which represents the 150 or so workers who are scheduled to lose their jobs here naturally see VMR International's impending departure as the latter. But there's a problem: VMR, which provides about $2 million in annual sales taxes to Brisbane, is doing absolutely nothing wrong or illegal. The company is taking advantage of a state-approved incentive program designed to assist regions with severe unemployment. Opponents believe the shift southeast into the Central Valley is a perversion of the intent of the rules (which are supposed to encourage out-of-state businesses to move to California). Still, it's not unlawful at all. Efforts by key Democrats in Sacramento to change the regulations have come to naught, at least so far. If they are successful, though, they might get more than they bargained for. Enterprises seeking better deals, if they are stymied and frustrated in California, could simply head for greener, and more business-friendly, pastures in places like Nevada and Arizona, or, heaven forbid, Texas. And that's the last thing VMR's Peninsula foes would want to see. So be careful what you wish for.