Monday, August 20, 2012
Remember those average citizens who tried to stop the madness of giving them millions of YOUR tax dollars? Remember they were ignored by the ones supposed to protect your tax dollars?
Don't miss this article about government financed businesses, YOU can't afford to.
An exhaustive investigation conducted by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity found that the two competing firms together have received or are promised more than $2.2 billion from American taxpayers over the past 15 years.
"Retail is not economic development. People don’t suddenly have more money to spend on hip waders because a new Bass Pro or Cabela’s comes to town," says Greg Leroy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a non-partisan economic development watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. "All that happens is that money spent at local mom and pop retailers shifts to these big box retailers. When government gives these big box stores tax dollars, they are effectively picking who the winners and losers are going to be."
Typically, these stores are financed through familiar economic development schemes like tax increment financing districts. Basically, a city borrows money by selling bonds on Wall Street and then pays off the debt with the increase in property or sales taxes generated in that TIF district.
After analyzing the development agreements, state audits, bond issues, development studies and local news accounts the Franklin Center found:
• Cabela’s has received $551 million in local and state assistance during the past 15 years.
• Bass Pro Shops received $1.3 billion in local and state assistance during the same period.
• The federal government helped ensure liquidity for Cabela's' credit card division by providing $400 million in financing for the purchase of the company’s securitized debt.
For example, state and local taxpayers borrowed $60 million to build a Cabela's store and its supporting infrastructure in Buda, Texas. For that amount, every household in the 7,600-person community could have purchased a new 2012 Lexus CT Hybrid.
The Buda City Council even agreed to take the town's name off its water tower and replace it with the word "Cabela's." But government largess didn’t end there. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission provided Guadalupe bass, the official state fish, for the store's massive aquarium at no charge to the retailer.
Posted by The Star-Telegraph at Monday, August 20, 2012