Desperately seeking retail | Arkansas Blog

Desperately seeking retail

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A report from Texas (which, like Arkansas, has politicians who believe you can build the economy by providing subsidies to sporting good stores) about the unmet promises of a Cabela's store. That outdoor chain, like Bass Pro Shops, has established a specialized niche of winning taxpayer subsidy of their operations, at the expense of local competitors. This story reminds us that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe, one of the politicians favored with campaign support by corporate-welfare-for-retailers kingpin Bruce Burrow of Jonesboro, is itching for gubernatorial control over a sizeable state fund for economic development.

Buda's mega-sporting goods store has come up short when it comes to meeting hiring targets.

Cabela?s opened in 2005 with the understanding it would create 400 jobs.

Buda's mayor created a tax-increment finance district around the site and the Texas Enterprise Fund kicked in $600,000 toward the project.

Since Cabela's only filled 314 jobs, the company has been forced to return $28,000 to the state and forfeit the remaining $200,000 promised from the Texas Enterprise Fund.

Cabela's is the first business to have to return money to the Texas Enterprise Fund. The fund was created in 2003 to lure businesses planning to expand in Texas or move here.

 


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