If you pay attention to the "Blingy Blob" thing at the bottom of the page, then you know that today marks a grim milestone.
Today is the second anniversary of PARD's filing of its initial appeal to halt construction of a Pullman Wal-Mart Supercenter. Two years and no end yet in sight. And what has been accomplished?
Well, the PARDners have gotten two more years worth of media coverage, two more years of angry letter writing, two more years of vicious name calling, and two more years in the spotlight feeding their inflated academic egos.
The rest of us? Well, we have lost, big time.
At the public hearing last year, an economic expert testified that a Pullman Wal-Mart Supercenter could do up to $70 million a year in business, resulting in some $500,000 a year in sales tax revenue for the city of Pullman.
According to the Whitman County Assessor's Office, Pullman property tax rate (as of January 2006) wass $16,4361 per thousand of appraised value. The estimated appraisal of the Wal-Mart Supercenter is $20,000,000.00.
$20,000,000.00 X .0164361= $328,722.00
$78,146.00 goes to the City of Pullman
$18,238.00 goes to the hospital
$9,958.00 goes to Emergency Medical Services
$9,958.00 goes to Pullman Metro Park District
$112,784.00 goes to the public schools
Total for Pullman is $229,084.00
$35,334.00 goes to Whitman County
$8914.00 goes to the Port of Whitman
Total for the county is $44,248.00
The State of Washington gets $55,390.00
$500,000 + $229,084 = $729,084 per year from a Pullman Supercenter in sales and property tax revenue alone. That comes out to $1997.49 every day that PARD's endless and frivilous delays are costing Pullman.
Total Tax Revenue Lost Since PARD's Site Plan Appeal was Filed Two Years Ago: $1,458,167.70
That's money we could have used for our police department, our fire department, our streets, our parks, our schools, and our arts pavilion; things that could have dramatically improved our quality of life. Instead, we have a bunch of professors who aren't fit to pour pee out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel bloviating about how all the money will go to Bentonville. That's a poor tradeoff.
But the cost is not just monetary. Local entrepreneurs and small businesses all over Pullman are on hold awaiting the Wal-Mart decision. And even worse, those in our community who are less fortunate: the working poor, the seniors, the students, the single parents, the immigrant families; all still have to keep driving to Moscow, Clarkston and beyond to make ends meet with gas near historic highs. And what does PARD have to offer? A "Buy Local" program long on sloganeering and very short on any meaningful details whatsoever.
I would say to let our outrage rise up and wash away PARD's appeal like a tsunami. I used to believe that two years ago. But not anymore. These people don't care what the community thinks about them. Many of them, like Deirdre Rogers, will be moving on down the line in a few years to another university job. In any case, whether they move on or not, they live in their ivy-covered coccoons, surrounded by other Ph.Ds from Bowling Green, Urbana, Boulder, Berkeley, or wherever, who all engage in the same liberal groupthink. They are true believers. What's worse, they like the feeling of being important, of being considered, of being quoted, of being reckoned with. They'll never stop. And at this point, I don't want them to. I want this appeal to roll to its inexorable and inevitable conclusion. I want Wal-Mart and the City of Pullman to ask for legal fees. And I want to see these pompous windbags running for cover when their union sugardaddies won't pony up the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars they'll be on the hook for with their state salaries. I want these cockroaches to be chased back into a corner so dark and deep we'll never have to deal with them again.
Hardly a day goes by that I am not asked by average citizen and government official alike, "When is Wal-Mart coming? Have you heard anything?" I always counsel patience. Remember the words of Ecclesiastes 9:11: "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all."
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