Monday, March 12, 2007

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Add the Mall of America's landlords to the list of pigs at the state trough. They're working to

sway legislators to approve $234 million in new public subsidies so the mall can more than double its size. The total public cost would exceed $300 million, including public financing already committed from the city of Bloomington. As part of that package, under legislation expected to be introduced this week, the state is being asked to spend $181 million on an 8,000-space parking garage. Mall executives are touting the plan as a great deal for the state, which they say stands to make at least four times its investment in taxes generated by the expansion.
Thankfully, the legislators in St. Paul aren't falling into line - yet. They're worried about whether the mall's expansion makes sense (a giant Bass Pro shop? a skating rink?). Plus and all, we have some other things to spend money on, like insuring every child in the state, or improving K-12 education. You want long-term investment that pays off later, make sure kids aren't sick and that they can read and add.