March 27, 2008
The entire city of Chicago (population: 3 million) has only ONE Wal-Mart store. And politicians are fighting to stop them from building another one.
What’s not to like?
This thriving Wal-Mart is on the site of what had been a virtually abandoned building. The store provides jobs for more than 440 employees—it’s currently hiring more—at average wages for hourly workers of about $12 an hour. In the 18 months the store has been open (through February), it has collected nearly $7.3 million in sales taxes alone—$1.9 million for the city, $3.9 million for the state, $917,000 for the RTA and $583,000 for Cook County. And it’s a convenient shopping mecca for Chicagoans.
You would think the City of Chicago would want more of all of this: More jobs. More sales and property tax revenues. More convenient shopping opportunities. You would think the city would want fewer vacant lots.
Maybe this is the problem.