Wednesday, July 13, 2005

RDAs: Good Tools or Hideous Beasts?

The Standard Examiner Editorial Board recently opined that RDAs have their usefulness and should not be vilified wholesale. However, in today’s edition Mike Jarman of the Utah Taxpayers Association takes the editorial board to task on its position and explains how RDAs always end up hurting local governments and school districts while subsidizing retailers and business parks.

Jarman notes that bringing subsidized retail establishments into an area does not promote economic growth. Rather, he states that economic growth occurs “when local businesses export goods and services to households and businesses in other states and countries,” and when business productivity increases “through investments in hardware, software, machines and worker education.”

After providing staggering statistics on how RDAs are hurting local governments and school districts in Utah, Jarman says, “RDA subsidies for retail enrich a handful of developers and attorneys at the expense of counties, school districts and taxpayers.” He concludes by calling for meaningful RDA reform.

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