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Responding to “Ellisville Development”

To the Editor: 

I was not surprised by the response about the Ellisville development and Walmart, by Mary Dust and apparently every other Ellisville resident (Letter to the Editor, West Newsmagazine, July 23). But I must correct the misconceptions about the TIF.

Walmart was not going to receive a dime of the TIF. I would like to enlighten the anti-Walmart folks. First, if the sales tax at Walmart was 8 percent, then a portion of that tax – let’s say 1 percent – would have been paid out over time to the builder (a local company that uses local labor) of the project and Ellisville would have received the remaining 7 percent (or whatever the final number would have been).

Walmart would not receive taxpayer money. Walmart would receive an increase of sales (income), not sales tax. Walmart makes money by selling things that people buy.

Secondly, if Mary chose not to shop at Walmart, she (as a taxpayer) would have not paid a dime of the TIF. But because of the economic activity that would have taken place at the new development, an increase in the collection of the Ellisville sales taxes would occur.

I would like to have Mary go to the Manchester City Hall and ask to see the numbers on sales and tax collection from that development (better yet, she could have read those numbers on the Ellisville website when the argument was raging).

Ellisville would have benefited, as would have the Rockwood School district, St. Louis Community College, etc.

In addition, how many jobs (desperately needed and another avenue of increased economic activity) would have been created just in the Walmart store alone? How about the additional shops and restaurants?

As far as the Waltons’ wealth, well, I believe Mary should read some history on Sam Walton because she would find that he founded a “mom and pop store” a long time ago and his company became America’s largest employer – only in America.

Robert Kerr

Ellisville

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