Home > Uncategorized > Dollar Stores Around the Country Siphon Millions from Public Education… but that is NOTHING Compared to NYS’s Annual “Donation” to Businesses

Dollar Stores Around the Country Siphon Millions from Public Education… but that is NOTHING Compared to NYS’s Annual “Donation” to Businesses

November 17, 2019

Today’s NYTimes features an op ed article about how the city of Tulsa is trying to limit the number of Dollar Stores in the poorer neighborhoods in hopes of attracting a bind fide grocery store. Op ed contributor Victor Luckerson writes:

“Since 2001, Dollar General and Dollar Tree have received more than $130 million in tax breaks and other financial incentives around the country, according to Good Jobs First, an organization that tracks government subsidies.”

Who lost when towns offered tax breaks and other financial incentives? Public education.

And while $130,000,000 over 18 years might seem inconsequential, what this story DOESN’T report is that a 2004 study on economic development indicated that states and localities were devoting some $50,000,000,000 to tax incentives every year! And a NYTimes report in 2012 indicated that income tax breaks for businesses added up to $18,000,000,000 and sales tax relief around $52,000,000,000 of the overall $80,000,000 billion in incentives NY offered at that time.

Oh… and to give those big numbers some perspective, a 2017 report from the Empire Center indicated NYS spent New York’s public elementary and secondary schools spent about $59,000,000,000 to educate 2.6 million pupils in 2014-15.

I find it hard to believe that we cannot afford the money needed to provide an adequate and equal opportunity for all when we manage to afford $80,000,000,000 per annum in tax breaks. It will be a good day when public schools get the same level of funding as corporations.

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