by Max Brantley
From Dallas, a story about unfulfilled expectations from a taxpayer giveaway to lure a Bass Pro Shops. (Are you listening, Boss Hays?) The supposed windfall of growth from the subsidized project hasn't produced new tax revenue sufficient to pay off the debt incurred to get the project built. And the promises of a related explosion in development seems to have fallen a bit short, too. (Yes, city officials still think it's grrrrreat. Of course.)
When you invest millions and let the developer hang onto his property taxes rather than sending them to schools and other public services, you need a HUGE amount of development to begin reaping a profit on the giveaway. And that's even before factoring in the damage done to competitors by the government-subsidized newcomers. But never mind that. Let's drain Dark Hollow now and do the math later
UPDATE: I thought I'd share a note from Richard Mays, the Heber Springs lawyer who has filed suit challenging the permit to fill parts of Dark Hollow to build a Bass Pro Shops in North Little Rock.
NOTE FROM RICHARD MAYS
This article is right on target. Now that some of the novelty of Bass Pro has worn off, the experience with many of the new ones that have been built is that they fail to meet the high expectations raised by the hype of the local government and Chamber of Commerce. If they're such a great deal, they shouldn't need subsidizing.
For North Little Rock, the unintended but forseeable consequences of paving over Dark Hollow could be an environmental nightmare, and if it is as successful as they are predicting, the traffic and safety problems in North Hills and the Eastgate Terrace neighborhoods will be significant.
-- Richard H. Hays