Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, January 20, 2006


We've all known for a long time, but now the numbers have come out. An independent economic analysis firm did a fiscal impact study of Pullman (as PARD has been whining about for months) that is being testified to at the moment.

The results are shocking:

The Pullman economy is losing nearly 50%, or $92 million in retail sales leakage annually due to residents shopping outside of Pullman, mainly in Moscow.

That equals $780,000 in annual sales tax revenue lost to the city of Pullman every year!!!!!!

Wal-Mart will go a long way towards allowing us to stop that leakage and NOT harm our existing businesses. Wal-Mart could easily add $500,000 EACH YEAR in sales tax revenue to Pullman.

So the question, "Is Wal-Mart Good for Pullman?" Has just been answered. YES IT IS!!!!

PARD should immediately withdraw its appeal in the best interest of Pullman. It's time that we rise up and demand they do so.


Ray Lindquist said...

So how was it recieved in the room when this was disclosed? What did the cross exam reveal??

Sarcastic Housewife #1 said...

Mercy!!! Who would have thought such a bombshell was coming! Thank goodness your there!!!

Jason said...

Hold it now. I have no doubt that Wal-Mart is a good thing for the GOVERNMENT of Pullman to generate more tax revenue.

But the generation of tax revenue is not an automatic benefit to the CITIZENS of Pullman. If you believe that, you need to be in favor of higher taxes, adding some toll roads, eminent domain taking your house for a hotel and anything else that will generate more revenue for the city government.

When you focus on generated tax revenue the very real problem this causes for CITIZENS is the tax rate is higher in Washington State then traveling to Moscow, Idaho.

Certainly, with the costs of gas, the drive to Moscow more then ruins any tax benefit. So not only will citizens benefit in the long run, they will have immediate benefits with a Pullman WalMart.

But, any notion that more taxes collected by government is AUTOMATICALLY good for their citizens is just plain SICK and WRONG.

If you want to focus your reasoning on the lost $92 million that private retail businesses lose by those who travel out of town to shop... feel free.

This focus on taxes makes me wonder who you are really trying to benefit?

My $.02

Ray Lindquist said...

Jason, I think that with the raised tax dollars by Wal-Mart and other retail stores like that is a 2 fold benefit #1 is from the property taxes raised which in turn makes it less likely that city/county government will need to raise my property taxes. Then #2 is a lot like #1 in that sales taxes will afford the city the chance to buy the needed equipment that they had to say no to this last budget cycle. I do agree with you that there is a point where government gets addicted to tax dollars and always wants more. But I have heard that Pullman is in the lower 25% of the average of all cities & towns in Washington as far as the amount of sales tax dollars per capita. If that is the case we have some catching up just to be average here in Pullman. Since we all need to buy things there is no reason that we should go out of the county to do that, an off shoot of that is we get to keep some the money here locally and not in some other town or city.

Jason said...

When you put it that way...

I really have to wonder if I want my local government to have more money based on its threat if they don't steal from me while shopping at WalMart they will steal it from me in property taxes. All this stealing done under some imaginary "need" the government has for more money.

The more we can keep our government away from our wallets the more efficent it will be forced to operate.

Also, helping Pullman government catch up to other cities in the amount of tax they collect is not something I find to be a worthwhile goal. We should be working the other direction. If Pullman can operate at this low of a budget, why can't other cities too?

Don't get me wrong... I'm all for WalMart. They don't take my money from me under threat of force.

Still, this focus on helping government collect more tax is not something I would hope to find at a "conservative" website. I believe helping local citizens and businesses keep as much of that $780,000 as possible would be the true benefit to the people.

Quite simply, our tax burden is high enough. Based on a simple moral issue of keeping government away from my wallet, it may indeed be worth the drive to Idaho. Better yet, make the drive to Oregon and keep even more of your money away from Leviathan.

WSUStretch said...

A short comment,
Tax increases, especially the local sales tax addon type, and/or local levy and assessor rates have been instituted due to the LACK of funds generated in the past for services demanded. While reductions of tax rates are rare, I believe a recommendation to review this by the appropriate individual/agency would be appropriate once "new found" dollars are available :-)

April E. Coggins said...

You need to look up the difference between tax base and tax rate. That, my friend, is the difference in American politics