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2000-11-11
Lake Worth, TX. Welfare for Home Depot

Once again the federal taxpayers have subsidized the world's largest home improvement center. Back in 1973, the federal government donated 70 acres of land to Lake Worth, with the stipulation that the land be used as parkland. Today, 10 acres of that land is being sold to Home Depot, with the blessing of the US National Park Service and the US General Services Administration. The residents of Lake Worth apparently don't get the chance to approve the change in land use, so any neighbors who might object to a 152,000 s.f retail project where a park used to be, and any local merchants who might object to this tax subsidy of a large national competitor, are out of luck. The City Council has to vote to approve the change from parkland to commercial use, and a hearing is set for November 30th. The local paper reprinted Home Depot's claims tdhat their new store would create 150 jobs and generate $700,000 in sales taxes. Home Depot will have to screen the building from 3 churches to the north of the property. Meanwhile, the Mayor is not saying publicly how much Home Depot will pay for the land. The land is appraised at $370,000. To compensate Lake Worth residents for cutting into their parkland, the city spend nearly $400,000 to by small plots of land to create neighborhood parks. Home Depot is happy, the Mayor is happy, and no one seems to care about what Home Depot will do to other businesses in the area that may go under.

What you can do: Ironically, the parkland sold to Home Depot was called Fair Park. But local merchants probably found very little "fair" in the deal. They were not given any special dispensation by the federal government to obtain land, with parking. The Home Depot jobs and tax figures come right out of the company's press release, and are gross figures, not net of any losses elsewhere. And will the three churches remain silent over this radical change in land use? Local officials thanked Congressman Kay Granger for helping push this "deal" through the federal bureaucracy.










 
 
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