To the editor:
Let’s support our existing retailers and their employees instead of cutting into their economic growth.
Too much of anything stimulates economic displacement, which is unfriendly to business and unfriendly to taxpayers. An initial $1.4 million in sales tax, growing to $2 million by 2020 is nothing but rosy speculation.
Additional retail stores would be entering Lawrence, equating to less trips elsewhere. Downsized stores are not exciting and offer fewer choices. Voice of experience.
No taxpayer subsidization of the development. Maybe, maybe not. Additional sales taxes might be part of the deal. These sales taxes go directly to the developers/property owners NOT to our local cookie jars, which is a substantial subsidy. The cost of new infrastructure and maintaining the infrastructure are definitely tax dollar subsidies.
Several retailers have already agreed to locate at Southpoint. Where are the signed leases?
Lawrence does not need a not necessary retail project to create new economic growth, more jobs and new tax dollar revenue. Spending infrastructure tax dollars on a 5- to 10-year project creating new safe bike/pedestrian paths and rehabilitating old sidewalks would do all of that and more. These jobs would most likely pay better wages. This could benefit thousands of taxpayers every day with improved market values should owners decide to sell.
Why not invest OUR tax dollars into OUR own good health very close to home. A better bang for our tax dollars without bringing on economic displacement.
Supporting our existing retailers instead of cutting into their economic growth is fiscally responsible.