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2004-09-02
Mesa Grande, AZ. Wal-Mart Plan Goes After $42 Million In Corporate Welfare

Wal-Mart's plans to build a superstore on 240 acres of land in Mesa Grande, Arizona was greeting this week with grand gestures of ridicule. The Arizona Republic repored that the so-called "Riverview Project" proposal for north Dobson Road "was met with boos and jeers Tuesday night at a neighborhood meeting." Developers of the parcel tried to distance themselves from the "WM" word -- but residents were clearly not pleased with the prospect of a superstore. "I don't know why they're putting one in. All I know is that they don't want to talk about it," one resident told the newspaper. "It does seem like a cover-up." The project will cost taxpayers something approaching $42 million in incentives the city is giving to developers. On August 19, the Mesa Grande City Council voted 5-1 to negotiate a development deal with De Rito Partners Development Inc. and Kimco Developers for the Riverview plan. The city has ben very generous in its corporate welfare approach to development, offering an incentive package that includes $34 million in tax breaks and rebates, $6 million for streets and utilities, and $2 million in impact and permit fee waivers. Local residents have apparently decided to take matters into their own hands to try and stop the welfare giveaways. A group named Citizens Opposed to Subsidies turned in referendum paperwork with the city clerk in hopes of preventing Mesa from giving out the millions in incentives. Residents don't want a Wal-Mart, and whatever project gets built, they want it to stand on its own, and not be subsidized by taxpayers.


What you can do: For more stories about big box retailers going after tax breaks and public welfare, search this Newsflash page by "corporate welfare."










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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