Wal-Mart Myth #8 debunked by Steven Peterson, U of I Research Economist, at the Moscow Chamber of Commerce luncheon on August 23, 2006.
Charge #8: If Moscow keeps out the “big boxes” and restricts retail trade development it will remain the retail trade hub of the region and the home of the Palouse.
Fact: Large retailers locate where the political risk and market risk is low
Question: Is the political risk of locating a new firm is Moscow rising?
Fact: Moscow’s position is tenuous
Fact: Pullman’s underdeveloped retail trade and service sectors harms its economy
Fact: Moscow may be developing an unfavorable business climate
Fact: Shoppers vote with their feet
Fact: Homeowners vote with their feet
Fact: The exodus of Moscow shoppers to the big boxes outside the region will hurt all retailers in Moscow
Fact: Moscow will lose millions of dollars of tax revenues by rejecting large retailers
Warning: Retail trade bleeds to death slowly
The City of Moscow, Latah County (and possibly the State of Idaho) will likely lose millions im property, sales, and income taxes, as aresult of retail trade development locating out of the city limits from the rejection of the Thompson 77 acre rezone (and other future commercial development restrictions).
If Pullman opens a Wal-Mart super center with the lowest priced groceries in the Palouse that are sales tax free, the Moscow wal-Mart without groceries could ultimately close over time. This would accelerate the erosion of the retail trade base in Moscow.
Quote of Note 6:
- Ed Schweitzer, Pullman
Heather Frye, "Schweitzer will expand Pullman site but owner warns county must become more business-friendly," Lewiston Tribune, Lewiston, Idaho, Page: 1A, 3/28/02.
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