Thursday, June 23, 2005

Local Town Won’t Subsidize Wal-Mart

It has been well documented that Wal-Mart tries to extract large tax breaks from the towns where it wants to build. It isn’t uncommon for the company to say to a city that if they do not receive tax abatements or subsidized infrastructure improvements that they will simply not build. Or they will play neighboring town against each other saying that if they don’t receive subsidies in one city then they’ll build in the next one over.

Despite these explicit and implicit threats, Rush Township in Pennsylvania rejected $1.4 million that a Wal-Mart developer requested for a new supercenter:

A proposed tax break to lure retail giant Wal-Mart to Rush Township died late Tuesday when Tamaqua Area School Board unanimously rejected it.

The plan would have cut taxes $1.4 million over eight years for a developer, paving the way for a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the former Laneco shopping center in the Hometown area of the township.


The school board voted unanimously to reject it.

''Most of the board thought the money they were asking for was exorbitant,'' School Director Robert Betz said Wednesday.

''The board also felt that, here is the world's largest corporation, and they want a tax break from this little area that can't afford much. They could probably buy and sell this town three times over.''
We congratulate Rush Township and believe that more towns across the U.S. should tell Wal-Mart that the tax payer does not need to subsidize their operations.