Thursday, July 21, 2011

Despite Best Efforts of the Show Me Institute, St. Louis Will Add Thousands of Jobs

Rex Sinquefield's Show Me Institute has been vigorously pushing against a tax credit bill that would pave the way for an international cargo hub in the St. Louis region expected to generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity. In the past week, SMI helped push the narrative that the guy who "literally wrote the book on the Aerotropolis concept" was opposed to building the hub in St. Louis. However, a blog post by Frank DeGraaf at NextSTL effectively demolished this argument:
In the Nicklaus column [author] Lindsay is quoted as saying: "Chinese carriers will come until the subsidies run out, then they look again at their balance sheets and pull out.” This is not at all how the tax credits will work. The Chinese are not receiving any subsidies. They are willing to come to St. Louis on their own dime. What they want from us is an investment in warehouses to accommodate freight forwarders and logistics companies in order to build the critical mass needed to establish a network around the hub. Freight forwarders don’t like to build their own warehouses. The strategy is to encourage the building of state-of-the-art facilities and give a tax credit on goods exported from Lambert.
And as the RCGA's Dick Fleming said (as quoted by the St. Louis American):
But Lindsay admitted to KMOX’s Mark Reardon that he’d never been to St. Louis, and he showed no signs that he had read or understood the proposed Missouri legislation. Nor did he take into account that Lambert has a ‘mega customer’ – China – for their cargo hub...

Lindsay appeared not to understand that the core incentive does not even get triggered until AFTER the facilities are built, the cargo flows and the jobs are here. That also means that as the incentives produce results, the State would be able to add to them and produce even more benefit.
So, just for the record, the Show Me Institute is now on the record against Metrolink, against the earnings tax that generates nearly 1/3 of the city's revenue, and against a bill that would help create 12,000 to 15,000 jobs in the St. Louis region. One of their recent publications worried that the proposal would give St. Louis leaders too much "power." In fact, the Show Me Institute has even teamed up with the coffin-carrying, effigy-burning, Hitler referencing St. Louis tea party to push their agendas. With actions like these, it's hard for me to take seriously SMI's claims that they are dispassionate analysts objectively evaluating the data rather than extreme partisans on an ideological crusade.

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