Monday, January 09, 2006

 

Legislature subsidizes loan sharks short-term personal lenders

The Taft administration's Department of Development never ceases to amaze us, as do the nincompoops who serve on the state's Controlling Board. From today's Gongwer (subscription only):
The Controlling Board agreed Monday to change a previously approved grant for expansion of a Dublin checking cashing company over objections of a legislator who said the state should not help a business “viewed by some as predatory lenders.”

As a result of Monday’s action, the recipient of a $100,000 business development grant through the Ohio De-partment of Development will be 7001 Post Road, LLC.

The state money, to help in total real estate acquisition costs of $5.5 million, originally was to have gone to Lenhart Frauenberg (LF) Partnership. The company was to buy two buildings and lease them to Buckeye Check Cashing Inc., a check cashing and short-term personal loan company with 125 locations in six states.

Buckeye Check wants to expand its crowded headquarters in Dublin. Due to federal income tax business considerations, the company and LF Partnership restructured the proposed real estate ownership arrange-ment, necessitating the need for a change in the state grant designation initially approved in 2004.

The Controlling Board approved the request on a 6-1 vote with Sen. Ray Miller (D-Columbus) objecting. He questioned whether the state should encourage development of such businesses.

“They’re viewed by some as predatory lenders…with the high interest rates they charge,” Sen. Miller said. “I don’t believe the state should be in the business of helping this type of enterprise.”

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