Every once in a while a story comes along that really re-ignites my burning hatred of the private prison industry. Like this one, describing how CCA is battling the town of Appleton, MN over the value of its prison. The lower the prison's assessed value, the less CCA will have to pay in taxes on it. The prison has been closed since 2010, which has cost the city jobs and part of its tax base; at that time, it was valued at $42.9 million. After appealing that valuation, as CCA has done every single time it's been audited, the facility is now valued at only $14 million, but even that's not low enough for CCA; they want the value to be knocked down to about $10 million, which would even further reduce the taxes it pays to the city. Meanwhile, over all the times CCA has appealed the valuation, it has already cost the county $2 million directly in legal fees, not to mention the lost tax revenue as they continuously try to undervalue their property. But here's the real kicker; the most recent reduction in value, still being appealed by CCA who wants it to go even lower, would already raise taxes for the average resident by 20%.
Fuck you, CCA. Fuck your insensitive, greedy manipulation of the tax code and legal system to maximize the already obscene profits you earn by incarcerating people (quite poorly, I might add). Fuck you for exploiting towns like Appleton, who rely on your company for valuable revenue. It's not enough that you dramatically overcharge governments to house prisoners, in facilities constantly face allegations of abuse and neglect; now you've just got to stick it to these poor folks as well?