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There’s a rumor Dick’s Sporting Goods is coming to Batavia. Already, residents are wary of giving the developer tax breaks for the project. Another sporting goods store owner said it wouldn’t be fair. The Batavian reports:

That isn’t scaring at least two local retailers who sell some of the same merchandise as Dick’s, but the local owners are unhappy that a giant corporation like Dick’s could benefit from any tax incentives given to COR.

Mike Barrett likened the practice of using tax incentives going to corporate chains to “using your own tax money to put yourself out of business.”

The whole thing might be a moot point. The just-passed state budget restricts when industrial development agencies can hand out tax breaks to retail projects.  The Buffalo News reports projects must be tourist destinations, in an economically distressed area or provide services and goods that are not available in the area.

This is a good thing, because retail projects are not good economic development tools. Tax breaks create an unequal playing field. The jobs created are usually low-wage and part time. The sales tax estimates assume people wouldn’t be spending their money elsewhere in the community. It also shouldn’t be assumed that because more stores open, residents suddenly have more money to spend. Finally, unless these projects are in seriously disadvantaged places, many would have happened anyway.

Think of all of the Rochester retail projects that have gotten mega-tax breaks, including Greece Ridge Mall, College Town and Tops. These developments may not have qualified under the state’s new rules. That’s as it should be.

Links of the Day:

– Jim Boeheim’s suits are made by Adrian Jules in Rochester. The clothier puts in orange lining.

– Monroe County schools get a combined $157 million from the state lottery system.

– New York City preservationists are not happy cobblestone streets are being replaced with more bicycle-friendly surfaces.

Drones could become a part of American life.

The folding car of the future.

6 Responses to Retail Reined In

  1. March 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm theodore kumlander responds:

    I am glad the Governor is putting the brakes on tax incentives for business. the tax breaks were always to generous some even included free water. This is why the Republicans are such hypocrites they want a level playing field for business aslong as it is tilted their way. Capitalists will make any excuse tell any lie and even kill in the name of profit at any price.

  2. March 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm Orielly responds:

    Well Republicans may be small hypocrites.

    Tell me then what do you call local DEMs like Bob Duffy and our City Council, who opened a city run,taxpayer funded …to this day, restaurant and bar in Charlotte competing (at an annual loss with a Matra DEE who makes 250K a year) with restaurants all over this area?

    Or Bill Johnson and city DEMs who stuck (lost) over 200M into high falls complete with tax breaks and free RGE to support out of area food / restaurants chains coming into this area to compete with the EAST END?

    OR maybe we want to talk about the Cheap Leases at the Ferry Terminal for a slew of restaurants to compete with Lake AVE Charlotte private business owners?

    Maybe we should discuss the Scams at College town, or Paetec or the MIDTown tower now rust bucket … all done with taxpayer money.

    Yep its the REPs who are they hypocrites.

    While we are at it how are the DEMs results with managing the RCSD over the last 40yrs?

  3. March 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm W-2 Sucker responds:

    This is long overdue. COMIDA as been out of control for to many years and is just a good old boys club of the powerful giving tax money to rich. Watch COMIDA find a loophole to the new rule.

  4. March 30, 2013 at 3:55 pm Derek Sanderson responds:

    So what I take away from this is that politicians, regardless of party, should let these businesses succeed or fail on their own. And as far as the RCSD is concerned, I’m quite certain the reults would be no different if Republicans ran the district.

  5. March 30, 2013 at 11:49 pm Orielly responds:

    “And as far as the RCSD is concerned, I’m quite certain the results would be no different if Republicans ran the district.”

    Really, quite certain? Are you?

    I’ll say three things about that comment:

    1) how would we ever know to be certain?

    Second- the likelihood that it would be worse, statistically speaking, is far smaller than the likelihood of improvement. With less than 10% AA boys graduating its more likely that REP leadership would improve that Stat. vs lowering it.

    But 3rd and Most importantly — REPs are for vouchers and installing VOUCHERS has proven highly successful in various school districts across the country.

    But hey certain of no change with REP leadership? So no logic or reason to try something new? Hows it been working for the last 30yrs, or do you need more study to determine if a drastic change is needed?

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