twin lakes subsidies

In response to my recent letter, Roseville Council Member Dean Maschka [in his letter of 5/3/05] says he supports $40 million in public subsidies for the Twin Lakes big-box retail development because the developers will "pay all of the costs of the project" with no risks to the city. But if the developers are willing to bear all the costs and risks, then why are they coming to the city for subsidies in the first place? The fact is they are asking the city to use tax money to reduce the price of the land and add to their profits. Mr. Maschka also claims that the city doesn't have the option to spend new taxes from the Twin Lakes development on the nature center, police and fire protection, or a new community center. Of course we do! Those are the sorts of things our taxes are supposed to pay for ­ not more big-box retail.  Taxes from Twin Lakes will go into the budgets of the city, county and school district to provide needed public goods and services, unless the subsidy supporters on the council vote to give those tax dollars away to the developers and retailers like Costco or WalMart.  

The developers say they won't go forward without millions in public money.  Great! Let's say no to this bad plan, and use the free market to call for better proposals.  Itıs not too late for the council to do the right thing for Roseville. We can still redevelop Twin Lakes in a way that is fiscally responsible, environmentally friendly, and consistent with the communityıs long-term goals.