Friday, November 17, 2006

Lining Up At The Trough

Most of you are aware of my ire resulting from the Corporate welfare provided to Carl "Moth Pockets" Pohlad and the Minnesota Twins. Robert "Frayed Cuffs" Ulrich, the impoverished CEO of TARGET (he only made $5 million in 05) has now informed Hennepin County that they must have a free ride on property taxes for their 24 acre Brooklyn Park Campus. Life is hard at TARGET. They are only forecast to make $2,000,000,000.00 this year and I am sure Hennepin County residents are being grossly unfair expecting TARGET to pick up its share of services such as streets, snow removal, sewage, water and other trivial things they would not otherwise use.

I have been a fan of TARGET for years. They have taken a step up on their competitors in how they deal with the communities, their employees, vendors and their customers. This is WAY out character for them and I hope they are not jumping feet first into the "corporate welfare" trough.

This only one year after banning the Salvation Army bell ringers. Are we seeing an attitude change?


sage said...

we got to find a better way to entice new business than giving them all kind of thinks like no tax zones! thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, not Target! I love that store! Hopefully, one slimy CEO will not ruin the reputation of the company.

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...


5 million for a CEO at Target? That verges on the criminal!

Fred said...

They should outlaw these tax breaks. Period. It's getting crazy.

anchovy said...

Transactions don't usually take place unless both sides are better off as a result. Assuming the county knows what's it's doing, it seems to feel it will receive more in other benefits than the cost of the tax breaks. If that's true, and the benefits trickle down to us tax-payers, then we should be glad for the deal.

The problem doesn't lie with "corporate wellfare" as such, but with the assumptions I made in the preceding paragraph. We need controls that ensure the county is in fact going to realize a benefit greater than the cost in lost tax revenues (or the opportunity cost of not collecting them) and we need to ensure the benefit inures to the tax payers.

Guarantees can be extracted from Target for such things as minimum number of new jopbs, etc. That might help with the first problem. An informed constituency that holds its councilmen (?) accountable might help with the second.

Notice, however, that these have little to do with Target. For example, it is encumbant upon a good negotiatior (the county) to extract concessions and not upon Target to offer them.

At the end of the day, though, even if we stormed the county offices with blazing torches and demanded no more tax breaks, the county down the street would offer them and Target would move there. Oh, that's a bad thing? Then maybe the concessions are worth it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

I always liked Target cuz they had great merchandise and were not as shady as WalMart. Looks like they're going in that direction though. Sad.

Tamara said...

grr, that's frustrating. I like Target too. But I've been in the downtown Mpls one and its HUGE. They need to support the community and pay their taxes - us little guys do!