Taxpayers About to be Sacked by Saks?

Taxpayers About to be Sacked by Saks?

Here we go again. A retailer needs government money to stay in Downtown Pittsburgh. Saks Fifth Avenue is telling local officials it might require as much as $10 million to refurbish its current location in the City. The City does not have the money and its experience in subsiding downtown retailers is dreadful at best. Having learned nothing from the previous examples of misusing tax dollars to underwrite retail operations, the City now plans to ask the state to kick in money for the Saks makeover.

The irony is so thick one can cut it with a knife. Not only is taxpayer subsidy of retailing in general a losing proposition, but subsidizing upscale retailing defies all logic. Why should the citizenry be asked to pay taxes to help hold down prices for customers at ritzy retail establishments?

It seems policy makers are incapable of putting two and two together. Just look at the record of earlier handouts and the ongoing largesse being plowed into very rich sports team owners.