Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Is Wal-Mart Worth To A Town?

There has been much debate about what a Wal-Mart Supercenter will do for Pullman. Several scientific studies have been conducted and desperately debunked by the opposition.

The old saying is that you never miss something until it's gone. The residents of Homer, LA, are tallying up the cost as the Wal-Mart store that has been there for 25 years closes.

You can guess the benefits to Pullman would be quite similar, if not more, than to this small town of 3,500.

From the Shreveport Times:

Estimated loss of tax receipts and other income with the closure of the Wal-Mart store in Homer:
Town of Homer
Sales tax, 2 percent: $204,957.
Inventory tax: $3,475.
Property tax on building: $1,404.
Occupational license: $6,200.
Utilities: $3,773.
Total: $219,811.
Claiborne Parish Police Jury
Inventory tax: $20,613.
Property tax on building: $8,333.
Total: $28,946.
Claiborne Parish School Board
Sales tax, 2 percent: $204,957.
Inventory tax: $18,661.
Property tax on building: $7,544.
Total: $231,163.
Miscellaneous losses
Employees' income (estimated): $1,000,000.
Local services (plumbers, etc.): $25,000.
Charitable contributions: $30,000.
Estimated losses from all sources: $1,534,920.
That's right. $1.5 million a year is what Wal-Mart is worth to Homer. While the snobs in Pullman fight to keep Wal-Mart out, the citizens of Homer are desperately trying to keep theirs.

I wonder if Moscow will miss Wal-Mart when it's gone in a year or two. Based on these kinds of numbers, you can bet they will.

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