The taxpayers of New York City and state are forking over "$80 million in tax credits and other subsidies" to back a shopping mall in East Harlem that will include a Costco and a Target in a shopping mall partly owned by Forest City Ratner, the New York Times reports. It raises the question: why should the money of small shop owners be seized from those small shop owners and used to subsidize stores that are going to compete with them? And why should the taxes of small landlords be taken and used to subsidize a real estate giant whose tenants will compete with those of the small landlords? (Or, for that matter, why should the shareholders or employees of non-subsidized Wal-Marts have their money taken in taxes and funneled to benefit their competitors, Costco and Target?) The Times article reports:
The project began to pick up speed after Forest City, a partner in the development of the headquarters building of The New York Times Company on Eighth Avenue, became involved. Having a well-connected local partner added strength to the project, Mr. Blumenfeld said.
The problem with these special tax credits and subsidies for politically favored projects is that they tend to benefit the "well-connected" at the expense of everyone else.