×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

GEez, what a disaster!
3

GEez, what a disaster!

Replies continue below

Recommended for you

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

GE's actions are not directly engineering failures or disasters - they are political and social issues. The only engineering tangential issue here is the loss of potential engineering jobs, right?

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

10 points for a witty a thread title, though.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Thanks... it is a bit of a disaster and is certainly interesting. Unfortunately engineering sometimes gets 'sucked into' socio-political issues.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

It's all a bit obvious in retrospect. Decarbonising western economies by transferring manufacturing to the developing nations (thereby increasing overall carbon emissions, but I digress) kept the politicians, elites and some voters, happy. The consequences of that sugar hit are now being felt.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

even after parting ways decades past, still too PAINFUL to read

(something I took great PRIDE in at one time)

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

After shaking hands with anyone in GE management, one should count ones' fingers :)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

I recall in 1977 when GE was required by a court to clean up the hudson river ( from their transformer oil factory) the GE CEo told the governor of NY state ( Hugh Carey) that if NY forces GE to clean up the hudson, then GE will move all workers out of NY state. So the governor let them walk away from the pollution, and GE moved the workers out anyway.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Yes, I visited the GE facility in Schenectady and one of our people, who grew up there, told me a story as to why the GE plant was just a few building with maybe 90% of the land completely empty with nothing but dirt and undergrowth. When GE started to move people and production facilities out this left a lot of empty buildings. Anyway, GE went to the city/county and told them that they expected their property taxes to be reduced to near zero since no activity was taking place in the empty buildings, but the local authorities stated that the buildings were still an asset and they represented some level of value and therefore GE should be expected to pay taxes on the commercial value of the buildings themselves. In response, GE ordered all of the empty buildings demolished and left the land barren and said, OK tax us on the value of dirt.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

(OP)
Another smart CEO at work. The value of the land without the buildings was probably higher by then anyway, so demo increased their book value and resulting borrowing power.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

There are two real serious issues here:

Governments should never give money to business. They can be interest free loans as a secured creditor, payable on demand.

When it comes to property, they should be required to remediate it to the original condition. Even though the buildings are temporal, the land is not. Anyone purchasing property should require it be remediated, or alternatively be compelled to remediate it before they use it.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Perhaps, but my understanding is that since the local tax authorities were concentrating on the value of the structures, GE got what it was looking for, a reduction in their property taxes. And if they had argued that the value of the property was now higher, I would bet that GE's response was that that would only be known if and when we decided to sell it.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

...then a capital gains tax applied annually based on a linear increase in value. Easy to solve, if you have the resolve.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

The economists are kicking around the idea of a bigger annual land use tax to replace one off state tax at the time of sale/purchase in NSW, Australia. It's a political/financial nightmare even though it makes sense in theory.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

(OP)
I thought annual land taxes were universal. They don't do that now?

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Quote:

Perhaps, but my understanding is that since the local tax authorities were concentrating on the value of the structures

That's standard; tax assessors refer to buildings as "improvements" and the large part of most property taxes, such as your house is mostly due to the house itself. But, YMMV, my house in Santa Clara County is assessed as 2/3rd value being the building, but Orange County has 45% of value being the building.

Obviously, each jurisdiction has its own agenda vis-a-vis property taxes; if the valuation were fully assessed only on the land, razing the building would do almost nothing to lower the taxes. A previous house of mine was assessed that way, only 18% of the value was assigned to the land, which is ludicrous, but it prevents someone from buying a house, razing and rebuilding, and then asking for a drop in assessment, since the newly built structure can be argued to be assessed purely on its construction costs.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

But land values are different, depending on the zoning. Industrial is usually of a higher value than say forrest. or farm land.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

As I recall GE was taxed for the empty property, and they paid , but a court later ruled it was an illegal tax and required the county to repay the taxes- it was over $200 million USD, and the county did not have the money anymore. Not sure what happened after that fiasco.

Around 2009, the europeans became keen on renewable energy ( Engergiewende), and installed beaucoup solar collectors and wind turbines, which made redundant over 40 GWe of brand new gas fired combined cycle plants ( 50 Hz). This severely dampened the market for new gas turbines, but GE went ahead and purchased the assets of Alstom in 2016 anyway, which was hemaraging from lawsuits related to the failing dissimilar metal weld at the outlet of the HP once thru coolers ( 316H- P91 DMW). Buying Alstom was a management error as big as the recent Zillow boo-boo. Everything has a beginning, a middle and an end, and GE may be facing its end.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Quote:

But land values are different, depending on the zoning. Industrial is usually of a higher value than say forrest. or farm land.

That was all city residential with the one lot being 3x in valuation relative to the other; admittedly, it ought to have a view premium, but they're both in the same county, so the assessment protocol should be the same and the 2nd house ought not be valued at 2x the 1st, particularly given that they're almost identical in sf, although, the 2nd is a much nicer, and more modern house.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Last I knew Schenectady still had a few thousand GE employees, as did the surrounding municipalities. In any case, I don't know many who would fault GE or any other company for leaving NY after decades of abuse and esp the Capital Region. Not to get political outside of the pub, but the politicos there are especially skilled at giving monetary help to partially resolve the massive tax and regulatory issues they created to win small special-interest blocks of voters. Giving millions to help solve a problem requiring tens or hundreds of millions, often in the form of a slightly reduced tax burden.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Actually it has worked out for several companies to move from a high tax state or area, to a lower tax place. The taxes go down, and even with moving reimbursements, a company will still lose a good number of employees, which can work out if the company is looking to downsize anyway.
Also not to be political, but this is a business decision, as taxes affect the company bottom line.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

And lets not forget that states are 'competing' for these companies to relocate and so they are handing out, what to many people, seems like outrageous amounts of money in terms of tax-credits and taxpayer funded improvements such as streets, sewers and even a new exit off the freeway. For an example of how this doesn't always work out as planned, just look at the Foxconn deal in Wisconsin:

Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn

A huge tax break was supposed to create a manufacturing paradise, but interviews with 49 people familiar with the project depict a chaotic operation unlikely to ever employ 13,000 workers.


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-02-06...

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-'Product Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Competition has winners and losers. But not always what you expect.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Wisconsin seems to have backed out of the tax break package as well: https://www.wpr.org/new-state-deal-foxconn-shrinks... They are only offering $80M if Foxconn attains 1454 jobs. So, despite Foxconn's denials and dissembling, they obviously couldn't come up with the employment levels they promised only 3 years ago.

But, that shouldn't be any surprise; companies figure out ways to take advantage of tax laws, and they come up with ways to take advantage of states' tax cuts/breaks. Otherwise, we'd have a glut of unemployed corporate tax lawyers, and that would be such a terrible tragedy.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Quote (1503-44)

Typical. Cities shooting themselves in the foot. They're all doing it, but Amazon is the easy target ..
https://fortune.com/2020/08/23/amazon-coronavirus-...
https://newrepublic.com/article/146540/amazon-thri...
Terrible. It really is a socially destructive company. Sure, change happens over time, farriers and blacksmiths have long since disappeared from main street. Though the fact that public funds are being used to promote such social destruction is depressing.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Local govt incentivizing companies to move in isn't necessarily bad, it simply needs to be done intelligently so that it benefits the public and business alike. The part that I hear lost too often is the value (or lack) of employee paid taxes vs employer paid taxes, and also the tertiary benefits of that employer's presence. JMO but I could give two dams if a major employer's tax burden leads to govt profit bc their presence is already benefitting the community through jobs and consumption of local resources.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

The problem comes about when there are not too many jobs, and the consumption of resources is too big for the community.
Examples: When a new company requires the construction of a new sewer plant, or water plant. Or the business model requires a community to build a homeless shelter (because of the type of employees).

So for a server farm, or bit coin farm, they consume a large amount of electricity, but do not employ very many people.
Or for a meat processing plant, they produce a lot of waste water, and employ transits employees. So they need homeless shelters, new schools, and lots of rental property (mobile home parks).

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

Agreed, its a matter of weighing pros and cons. Sometimes resource consumption helps the local community via supply chain jobs or even lowering prices by increasing volume, in other circumstances it hurts.

Growing up in NY I saw many instances of folks getting caught up trying to force companies to "pay their "fair" share," not realizing until they left that employee income taxes supported far more locally. By pushing for the company to pay more they shot their town in the foot.

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

(OP)
Do they still use the jingle "We bring good things to life."

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

a short lived jingle I liked. Once realized, we were suppose to turn in our hard hats


Good Enough

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

GE - we bring good things to life. I attended college in Troy NY in the years 1971-74 and the local papers had reported at that time that GE had a lagoon alongside the hudson river that contained waste transformer oil ( PCB) . When the EPA ordered them to remove the PCB oil and dispose of it in an environmentally safe manner, someone at the site started up a backhoe, broke the walls of the lagoon, and allowed the oil to flow directly into the river. Since that event , every fishing license handbook issued by NY state to fisherman states on page one- do not eat the fish you catch unless you wish to be contaminated with PCB's.

Later a court case resulted in a demand for GE to clean up the hudson river to minimize the PCB exposure to people and fish. The GE CEO told the NY state governor ( Hugh Carey) that if they persist in forcing GE to clean the river, then GE will move all of its employees out of NY state , so Gov Carey obliged GE and rescinded the order. We bring good things to life.

"...when logic, and proportion, have fallen, sloppy dead..." Grace Slick

RE: GEez, what a disaster!

They never said WHOSE life the good things are brought to, did they? GE certainly brought "good things" the Jack Welch's life, including paying only economy airfare on GE's private jet.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login



News


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close