Ganim: Tax Deals Crippling City

Former Mayor Joe Ganim issued a statement on his Facebook page following the City Council rejecting a compromise tax abatement proposal for the second phase of an ambitious, mixed-income housing development on the East Side. Ganim writes:

The city council made the right decision on this – I applaud them standing up to the Finch administration. The trend of 40 year tax deals for developers is crippling small businesses and especially residents.

I’m not against tax deals or breaks for major developers who will bring Bridgeport jobs, commerce, and opportunities to the city but I don’t agree with the ones that are being issued by the Finch administration. 40 years is a long time for a tax deal and the city residents end up bearing the brunt of this with multiple tax increases over the past 8 years and a somewhat secret revaluation coming up after the election.

Ganim is starting to weigh in on issues as he prepares to segue from an exploratory to full blown campaign committee for mayor. Look for Mayor Bill Finch’s political operation to respond in kind castigating dubious development deals as Ganim seeks a comeback following his conviction on federal corruption charges in 2003.

Council members voting against abatement: Lydia Martinez, Milta Feliciano, Alfredo Castillo, Jose Casco, Patricia Swain, Bob Halstead, Enrique Torres, Melanie Jackson, Michelle Lyons, Richard Salter.



  1. Joe, what is the practical takeaway from your comment? I have asked for TRANSPARENCY as might be represented by a listing of all such abated property or those with deals that reduce their property tax liability.
    But hey, I am not an accountant, assessor or former Mayor. What should we be looking for from the Finch administration to lay things out for the taxpaying public? Help the public be in the know. That will help get people to the polls, whoever is running. Time will tell.

  2. Mayor Finch is trying to give these tax breaks to developers but there are NO set-aside guaranteed jobs for Bridgeport residents, none; but Bridgeport tax dollars will offset their profits.

    1. There’s the difference between Mayor Joe Ganim and Mayor Bobblehead!
      Bobblehead wants to give away our tax base to anyone willing to put up housing, just so he can add it to his housing stock numbers for this election year, even if it costs the taxpayers million and so far it has! 177 units at a discounted tax rate of $700 per unit per year for 40 flucking years! Does Mayor Bobblehead have a brain tumor?
      It cost Bridgeport taxpayers $480 just for snow and garbage removal each year!
      It will only add $220 per unit, per year to our tax base, for 40 flucking years.
      Bobblehead wants to help Malloy’s buddies from Stamford at our expense.

      Is it September 16th yet?

      Thank you, Joe Ganim!

  3. The comment posted on your Facebook account was worthy of being repeated on this blog. As though in your 10 years in office there were no tax abatements. I guess these useless quotes excites Bob Halstead, Lisa P. and Maria P. I’d like to see who got tax abatements during your administration given the limited development.

    1. Steve,
      We are on our way to the 2015 Municipal Election Extravaganza and if this administration were to print the list of recipients of City Council graciousness through the years, perhaps some of the Ganim projects might still be tax advantaged. Perhaps they were limited to only ten years and are all full taxpaying now. Perhaps they left town and the City bought the property. I don’t know or specifically care, other than the listing would provide strength to seeing how good a job we are doing negotiating and how long these deals will be with us. Isn’t it a time for learning by asking questions and getting them answered?
      How many years have the tax deals of the Ganim administration been on your wish list? Two days or less? Time will tell.

      1. John Marshall Lee. You totally baffle me. Maybe you should endorse Ganim. Was that the consensus of the Howard Gardner fundraiser?

        1. Steve, deal with the issue at hand. Instead of throwing a “You did it too.” over to the Ganim camp that produces no change, and status quo, or what passes for it in this City, is not cutting it on info about how fiscal matters are handled, reported and available to the taxpayer.

          Well, Ganim has been a Mayor and may have some thoughts on how to handle the situation but his two sentences did not advance the cause of transparency one inch. And then you are baffled when I ask (since you have not touched this abatement issue and Ganim previously) whether this topic is a new passion of yours in the last two days? Get it now?

          I believe OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT are the responsibilities of all on the governance/political front. Ask more questions to be answered by Mayor Bill. Then see if other potential or actual candidates are willing to answer and work on the variances. Do you see a role in getting more actual facts out for the public than just empty statements?

          And since you ask a question about the Gardner gathering on Sunday, Howard did a non-stop presentation of answering every question asked of him, regarding education, public safety, city finances, his background and reasons for two hours running. No prompter. No texting to aides. A real heartfelt statement by a capable citizen. Folks were impressed. Isn’t that a change? Time will tell.

          1. So JML, the question to you was are you supporting Ganim? Was that the consensus of your Howard Gardner fundraiser? Joe Ganim had 10 years to implement his great ideas that were not so great. There is not one voter who believes Ganim saved the city from bankruptcy. Lowell Weicker saved the city from bankruptcy.

          2. Change? I am supporting Finch. Change? That’s not my battle cry. Change … Run Joe, run!

          3. As for tax abatements? I have always supported tax abatements to get projects started in a poor city to help gentrify a neighborhood or a landmark building downtown. I would not support a 40-year tax abatement on a mediocre project. I agree with the council decision and still support Bill Finch. JML, that is all you really need to know. I am not running for Mayor, there are however a number of other candidates running. I would really love to hear Ganim’s plan for economic development. That should be good for shit and giggles even for you JML, no? Time will tell.

          4. Steve,
            Your question is who is supporting whom in general. I am supporting a “what,” if you will, a platform of commitments to representing the people and their resources, especially tax payment, in an Open, Accountable, and Transparent way. Now you know that already. OATS is an acronym I have used for many years. I have held it up to the Finch administration on numerous occasions in City hearings, Council meetings, the CT Post and most frequently on OIB. Does it ring a bell with you?

            Integrity is critical to me personally, and I would expect to the body politic at large. You wish to talk about potential candidates as if they were restaurants we can patronize any evening we so choose. But that is not so! We get one swing at a mayoral administration once every four years, with no recall in between, with only an ill-informed, poorly supported and overtasked City Council to provide a defense and we are stuck being served by that maître d’ for four years. Principles, in a commitment to the voters of necessary actions carried out with integrity, are critical. What record the candidate carries to this election will support or undercut their declarations.

            We have not heard statements of this kind from those who would seek our vote. I am seeking the widest and most open dialogue between and among the candidates this City has ever seen. Ask the hard questions. Expect realistic responses, or keep asking. Time will tell.

  4. A Day in the life of Mayor Finch

    Mrs. F: Honey! Did you check these bobblehead dolls you’re going to give away at the Joe Ganim and Mary-Jane Foster Bluefish Ballpark?

    MF: Why, what’s wrong with them dear?

    Mrs. F: Honey, the heads are on backwards!!! And it looks like you’re looking over your shoulder, like something’s coming after you!

    MF: Oh no! Shit!

    Mrs. F: Bill, you should have checked the boxes, things like this will give Ganim and Foster rocks to throw! And the flucking bobblehead dolls don’t even look like you!

    MF: They don’t! I’ll call flucking Woody now!

    W: Hello?

    MF: Woody! It’s me, where did you get those 500 bobbleheads from?

    W: Why, what’s wrong with the bobbles?

    MF: Just the flucking heads are on backwards, and they don’t even look like me!

    W: I got them at a real good price, too! All 500 are looking backwards? That could have a very negative conjecture on the campaign for sure.

    MF: They don’t even look like me, didn’t you send them a picture of me?

    W: No, I couldn’t find a good one of you, so I sent them a picture of Tom Bergeron.

    MF: The flucking host of Dancing with the Stars? So Woody! On Wednesday, I have to hand out these flucking backwards-looking bobblehead dolls of flucking TOM BERGERON?

    W: Mayor, we got them real cheap, 180 Yuan each, with free shipping!

    MF: I’m so screwed! I’ll talk to you tomorrow, Woody.

    Mrs. F: You should have checked those boxes of bobblesheads when they came to the house, Bill! You should have checked Paul Vallas’ credentials! You should have checked the Bass Pro 20-year bad deal for the taxpayers! You should have checked Tippy’s UI solar land grab at Seaside Park! You should have checked Manny’s driveway cost so the taxpayers wouldn’t get screwed by that SOB! You and Woody are the two biggest flucking bobblesheads in this city and it’s not even September yet! And you both have your heads up each other’s ass, it’s amazing how you both can walk! I’m going to bed!

    MF: Honey, I got it! It’s simple! We’ll remove the heads and just give them the bobbles’ bodies and they can put their own head on them! Honey, do I really look like Tom Bergeron to you?

    Mrs. F: ZZZZZZZZZ zzzzzzzzz no, more like Pee Wee Herman ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZ zzzzzzzzzz.

    1. Jimfox, I literally could not stop laughing while reading this. You are absolutely hysterical! My favorite posts to read on OIB are yours.

  5. This is possibly a great example of why focus needs to be placed on electing city council members who do not have city jobs, or family members who have city jobs. While the mayor is of course important, having REAL checks and balance on the council is equally important.

      1. Mr. Ron, you are turning my head! I know JML and Torres have the experience, know-how and passion to do a much better job than I. Also, once I sell my house, heading out of CT to the West to be closer to my family.

  6. Curiosity question–now that Ms. Foster has announced her candidacy, will any of her former supporters who are aligned with Ganim revert back to supporting her?


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