Wal-Mart has told citizens in Dubuque, Iowa that they can’t do their superstore project without corporate welfare. According to the Telegraph-Herald newspaper headline: “No grants, no store.” Wal-Mart wants to rezone to commercial a 31 acre industrial site that was a former meat processing facility, and now the company’s consultant is asking the Dubuque Zoning Advisory Commission to table the rezoning issue. The zoning board rejected the rezoning once, but the City Council asked them to reconsider. Wal-Mart is apparently angling to get $3.6 million in state and federal tax subsidies to demolish the existing building and clean up the site.”For us to go through zoning and not have the money seems like that is an exercise in futility,” the Wal-Mart consultant told the city. “If we cannot find any assistance, this site is too expensive for us. There is no point in doing the rezoning if there is not a project.” Wal-Mart wants to get city officials to get Uncle Sam to pitch in some money to help the world’s largest retailer afford to use the site. Wal-Mart is also in a big rush, and has told the city its contract for the property expires February 4th. Some local residents claim that Wal-Mart is playing games with the city, but the company says it just doesn’t have the do-re-mi to make the project happen on its own. “If we can get the funding, it looks like a viable project,” the Wal-Mart consultant told the paper. “Without it, it is too expensive.”
Wal-Mart made more than $6 billion in profits last year, but they can’t afford to build this project in Dubuque. If anyone reading sprawl-busters wants to contribute to the “Save Wal-Mart in Dubuque” fund, send your cash to sprawl-busters.com, and we’ll see that it gets put to a good use. It’s amazing that Wal-Mart can poor-mouth public officials into seeking grants from the public trough to help Wal-Mart, who will then use that subsidy to help bury its competition, and close down smaller stores which paid federal taxes which went to help Wal-Mart put out their lights. With companies like Wal-Mart having their hand out for federal grants, it’s proof that the “free” market is alive and prospering. For earlier stories on Dubuque, search this website by the city’s name.