In December, Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan placed an off-agenda item on the BOCC meeting regarding giving $8.25 million to a develper to build a road and expand Faulkenburg Road (roads that are not even on the county's long term road improvement plans) so that Bass Pro Shops would build a retail store in the Brandon area.
There is so much wrong with this that I do not know where to start.
First, why are we, the taxpayers, giving money to a private firm to build something to provide an unfair advantage to a big box store, Bass Pro Shops ($4 billion in sales) at the cost of our local, small businesses?
In December, many small business owners stood up to protest this tax give away and pointed out that not one of them had received any funding from the county. In fact, most of them paid a lot of additonal money from infrastructure to permits to open their businesses.
The BOCC, as usual, took the stern stance to put off a decision until Feb. 6. (Hoping that people will forget?)
Hagan's position is jobs, jobs, jobs. What jobs? Short term construction jobs and then go-nowhere, no-nothing, miniumum wage retail jobs? Is this what we want to spend our tax money on? Especially, at the expense of small, local businesses that will keep and spend their profits in the local community. Where will the Bass Pro Shop profits go? To the headquarters in Missouri. If Bass Pro Shops wants to build a store here, fine, but not with our tax money.
If you agree, visit www.hillsbourghcounty.org/bocc/home to see more.