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2004-08-14
MONTGOMERY, AL. Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart For Tax Subsidy Filed Too Late

The State Supreme Court in Alabama threw out an appeal filed by Southeastern Meats of Pelham, Alabama, that sued the city of Birmingham for giving a $10 million tax break for a nearby Wal-Mart Supercenter. The case was thrown out not because of its merits, but because the plaintiff had only 14 days to appeal the trial court's December 12th, ruling, and filed their appeal three weeks late. In this case, Wal-Mart was seeking a location for a supercenter in 2002 to replace an old Wal-Mart, and the retailer was offered a $10 million sales tax rebate as an incentive to building a store in Roebuck.
Southeastern Meats, which has operated a store nearby for more than 20 years, said the agreement gave Wal-Mart an unfair advantage, and filed a lawsuit against the deal. Birmingham officials said the project would create 250 jobs and generate $2.2 million in annual sales taxes -- but these were gross figures, not net of the jobs and taxes lost by other businesses. The Southeastern Meats lawsuit claimed that the tax break was a giveaway, a form of corporate welfare, that would redistribute tax revenue already being collected. But the suit was apparently filed too late, so Wal-Mart welfare prevails.

What you can do: For an earlier story on this lawsuit, go to September 27, 2003.










 
 
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