Bye bye local sporting goods retailers

The driver behind the county’s economic development planning for the past two years, now appears to be on the verge of getting at least one campaign promise fulfilled:

Giving tax incentives to Bass Pro Shops

Commissioner Mr. Hagan is touting Bass Pro Shops as a “destination retail business” which would supposedly draw shoppers from so far away (except Orlando) that they would stay overnight in a hotel.

Bass Pro Shops is NOT one of the “targeted” industries recommended by Hagan’s own Economic Development Task Force. They wanted Bio-tech, medical, manufacturing, high-tech kinds of businesses to locate here.

The hurriedly passed Property Tax Exemption Program was supposed to have helped grow high-wage jobs, not part-time, low-wage, no-benefit retail jobs.

The Tax Exception was also to be used to help existing county businesses grow.

Where in Hillsborough County could mega-retailer Bass Pro Shops be located that they would not
existing sporting goods stores OUT OF BUSINESS ?

Ken Hagan campaign promises
Yeah, right!

If I were a sporting goods store owner (or employee) in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk or Manatee counties, I would start getting worried about my livelihood.

<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen


3 Responses to “Bye bye local sporting goods retailers”

  1. Well done, Fred, exposing this nonsense.

    How did they talk us into handing them the power to give tax breaks to their buddies, even though we’re the ones who have to make up the difference? They simply invoked the magic word: “jobs.” Even though, as you so astutely point out, this will actually chase away jobs. But it’s only the tiny sound-bite, not the facts, that seems to hold sway these days.

    • The other magic incantation used was “no financial impact to the County budget.” I guess it doesn’t matter (to some) when budget money is REALOCATED from one program to another.

      You are right that are costs to be borne by the taxpayers. Giving an out-of-town business a break on paying for new services used, puts a burden on everyone else who has to pay for those services.

  2. Marilyn Smith Says:

    The only upside to the BASS PRO saga is: Hey there was a big push to GRAB

    We managed to keep CONE RANCH from the greedy claws of HAGAN’S PLAN to have a contract for BIG BUSINESS and take OUR WATER RESOURCE.

    Look up the DIVERSITY of BASS PRO, it ain’t just a fishing hook.

    BIG BUSINESSES…we are familiar what happens when a BIG BOX
    moves in to the neighborhood….SO LONG MOM AND POP.

    So much for HAGAN’S attempting to keep everyone from looking at what he has already dumped upon the citizens of HILLSBOROUGH.

    Look at the implementation of the TAX EXEMPTION…..
    Nothing of wonderfulness is going to come to the RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW LOCAL BUSINESSES…..

    Nothing worse than bastardizing rules and policies to help a favorite project.


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