"When . . . a large development wants to be in your town, you see the tax values surrounding that. . . I think the tendency is to think this is really going to give us a solid foundation," George Fowler, mayor of Pineville, North Carolina, told the Charlotte Observer. "But you don’t realize at that particular point the impact it’s going to have on the services you have to provide."
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Big retailers are increasingly coming under fire from small and mid-sized manufacturers. Last month, more than 1,000 employees and owners of small manufacturing firms attended a rally in Connecticut to denounce Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Target, and other chains for forcing large manufacturers to move their factories to China. Continue reading
Since the 1980s, Wal-Mart has received at least $150 million in local, state, and federal subsidies to build 47 distribution centers in 32 states, according to a study by The Palm Beach Post.
Onlythose subsidies that have been quantified in published reports were counted. "That number likely grows by tens of millions when unquantified breaks, such as government bond financing for construction, and ongoing breaks, such as those given to businesses in enterprise zones, are included," the newspaper notes.
Five radio stations in St. Louis are refusing Wal-Mart’s demand that they pull ads critical of the company’s labor practices. The ads, sponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 655, discuss working conditions, wages, and lack of health care at Wal-Mart stores. Wal-Mart claims the ads are false and misleading, but the UFCW stands behind their accuracy. Continue reading
Developers of a massive shopping center in Leominster, Massachusetts, claim the project will create 869 new jobs and boost the city’s property tax revenue by $400,000 annually.
But a study by a nationally recognized land use economist has found that the development will destroy about as many jobs as it creates and provide the city with only $51,000 in additional revenue. To put that into perspective, if the new revenue were used to cut residential property taxes, each of the city’s 17,000 households would save just $3 annually.
The town of Homer, Alaska, has capped retail store sizes at no more than 20,000 square feet in its central business district and 40,000 square feet in other commercial areas. The measure will remain in effect until the Planning Commission implements permanent regulations setting impact standards and size limits for large-scale retail, expected within six months. Continue reading
By forming alliances, independent businesses can regain their central role in our economy. Continue reading
Many retail chains, including Victoria’s Secret and Toys "R" Us, earn profits at stores nationwide, but have developed an accounting scheme to evade paying their full-share of corporate income taxes in more than half the states.
Tax experts believe the practice is costing states billions of dollars in lost revenue. It is likely one factor behind the decline in state corporate income tax receipts.
Ireland’s Environment Minister Martin Cullen has announced that the government may lift a five-year-old nationwide policy banning superstores.
The policy, adopted as a temporary measure in 1998 and made permanent in 2001, prohibits stores over 3,500 square meters (38,000 square feet) in Dublin and 3,000 square meters (32,000 square feet) in the rest of the country.
Under a measure introduced by San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Matt Gonzalez, the city would notify neighbors whenever a pharmacy or coffee shop wants to open nearby.
Residents would have 30 days to request that the proposed store be subject to a public hearing and formal review by the Planning Commission. Such reviews are normally required only for major demolition or construction, or when there is a change of use, such as from residential to commercial.