SMALL TOWN ADMINISTRATIONS VS AMAZON.COM

They just keep pulling up to the trough.

Amazon.com is opening a new distribution center in a small town near where I live in Minnesota. Sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? I’m not so sure.

Let’s add it up: Low-paying warehouse jobs. Significant tax breaks with local municipalities. And a new small-town neighbor that isn’t very neighborly, doesn’t pay its fair share and is a multinational monster of a company. How local will they be? Not very.

Oh, they may spin a veneer of support but we all know that headquarters is where the decisions are made and the small towns will get left out.

Subsidies by state and local municipalities have run amok. It’s gamesmanship by amateurs using taxpayer dollars. You have small town governing administrations and would-be politicians in office for a few years at a time with little experience. They are tasked with negotiating with titans of industry representing the largest companies in the world, in this case Amazon.com. Who’s going to win that discussion? Add on the feverish climate of doing anything for large companies that promise jobs and you have to wonder, will a small town get a fair shake? Do they have the experience to be doing this kind of negotiating?

I don’t believe so. A $6.4 million tax increment financing package is just the start of what Amazon.com will take from the small community near where I live.

http://www.startribune.com/business/300852681.html

http://www.startribune.com/local/south/304062531.html

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