Take this June 26th Birmingham News article about the new Target being built in Homewood.
“The city of Homewood approved more than $10 million in incentives for the project in September 2010, and it is expected to be a huge economic boost, said Mayor Scott McBrayer.
What the new Target will do is draw in shoppers from other cities, namely Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills…”
Note that the sole intent of the incentives (as clearly stated) is for Homewood to pilfer Mt. Brook and Vestavia customers.
Or how about these two headlines from the Birmingham News on July 9th?
The first article says that, “Alabama Crown Distributing Co. a distributor of liquor, wine, and beer is building a $16 million facility in Alabaster that will employ 70 people. The company is shutting down its current facility on Industrial Lane in Birmingham…”
The second, “Hibbett Sports Inc., which is moving its distribution center from Birmingham to Alabaster in a $25 million project…”
But note that…
“Alabama Crown is receiving $1.2 million in state and local tax abatements over seven years.”
“Hibbett is receiving about $2.2 million in state and local tax abatements over 10 years.”
How does this help our region? Alabaster wins—Birmingham loses. No gain for our region. ($13.4 million dollars of tax money spent with no regional gain)
We continue to squander money stealing from one another.
Other regions take that same money and recruit new businesses.
That’s why we have no resources to encourage companies to bring their economic development and jobs to our region.
Is this economic development?
Please don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.
*Title of blog happily stolen from Judy Sheindlin’s book of the same name
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David Sher is a partner in Buzz12 Marketing and co-CEO of AmSher Receivables Management. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (ONB), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).