When a town is growing by leaps and bounds, giving tax and financial incentives to a Costco or Wal-Mart to move in sometimes makes sense. When a town is built out as Naperville now is, I believe it’s just crazy.
Naperville City Council’s unanimous approval of a $1.75 million sales tax giveaway to Wal-Mart so they can expand and put in a huge grocery department may bring in some new sales tax to the city. But for the most part, it will just cannibalize sales and sales tax dollars from existing Naperville businesses.
Being a long time retailer in town, and not too far from the projected Wal-Mart location, I know for a fact I will lose some sales to this behemoth. Thankfully, I don’t own a grocery store nearby. I just wonder how Casey’s, Trader Joe’s, Garden Fresh, Dominick’s, Jewel, Caputo’s and Whole Foods feel about the deal.
The argument was made that Wal-Mart might move out of town, taking Sam’s Club and all their sales tax with them. If our town is so afraid of losing a business of this sort that we give them an unfair advantage and put existing and long time Naperville retailers at risk, it’s probably time to rethink our priorities.
I would have let them go. My store (and the rest of Naperville’s unsubsidized businesses) could always handle a few more customers.
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