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Are all these tax incentives good or bad?


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I read a real interesting opinion article in the Republic on all the incentives being tossed around in the valley to lure big retail projects.

The Article

Contrary to the tedious repetition of the local libertarian chattering class, this place wouldn't exist without generous dollops of government. Subsidized water, power, flood control and freeways are government incentives, too.

That said, the Legislature should consider state Sen. Ken Cheuvront's measure to limit over-the-top incentives for retailers. If Mesa's $80 million to lure a tricked-out bait shop wasn't enough, now there's Phoenix's $100 million in tax rebates for a big project at Loop 101 and 56th Street.

Phoenix has a long grudge match against Scottsdale, which pulls large numbers of city residents to Fashion Square and other venues. Phoenix fought back with projects such as Kierland Commons, which are so close to fabled Scottsdale that shoppers don't know the difference. Yet the tax receipts go to Phoenix.

More is at stake than pride and money. Phoenix is contending with aging infrastructure and the costs on social services of housing most of the region's poor and working poor. It faces relatively less state-shared revenues. Keeping the new growth going in the northern part of the city - and those retail tax revenues - will stave off a Detroit syndrome.

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the catalysts they are using for growth now, will be the anchor tied to the necks of the municipalities dragging them to the bottom of an economic ocean, if they don't cooperate with each other, and create a region of not only economic strength, but vital sustainable industry.
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