Saturday, September 28, 2013

For its new Texas store, Nebraska Furniture Mart got $802 million in economic concessions from The Colony, a city of 40,000 — $20,000 per person

According to Matthew Watkins of the Dallas Morning News, that's 15 times the city's annual budget; roads, utility upgrades and a parking garage by themselves will run $291 million.
     NFM, a division of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, also will get up to $261 million to offset some of the store's building expenses. This despite the fact that retail jobs are some of the worst paying. Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, wonders why a city should subsidize retail and "give away your tax base for years," since "retail will take care of itself."
     Which means that stores always follow growing populations, with or without incentives.
     NFM has promised to employee about 2,000 people, but only 850 will be full-time jobs.
     Robert Bland, chairman of the Department of Public Administration at the University of North Texas, wondered about incentives punishing previously existing businesses which have paid their full share of taxes and will now be gaining a major competitor.

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