Re: Division of public and private sectors

1

Its nutty, but I bet other state governments do it.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 8:04 AM
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The important thing is that the Texas government is doing its part to maintain a bubble economy in the real estate sector, even in times like these.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 8:08 AM
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OT I hate being sick


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 8:22 AM
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A Public Option for providing health insurance is socialism, but a Public Option for participating in real estate speculation is the American way.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 9:28 AM
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This is incredibly common. I don't think "flipping" captures what is going on here, as flipping implies rapidly turning property for profit. Based on my dealings with city and state agencies that manage publicly-owned property for sale or lease, it's unlikely that this agency makes money on real estate that way, though it presumably expects to make money through the aggregate taxes generated by the project. In fact, I suspect that even apart from the real estate tax exemption, Target would have been paying a below-market rent for the site, and that the state lost money on the eventual sale. In theory, though, buying property at a market price that accounts for real estate taxes and then signing tax-exempt commercial leases could result in above-market investment returns for the state (courtesy of the local taxing authority, of course). If nothing else, it can at least mitigate their having done poorly on the buy side.

I am curious as to whether the state bought this property on the open market or through eminent domain. States frequently support development projects like this via condemnation under their eminent domain authority, through which a state can force the sale of a private property in exchange for a "market" price, which does not include any holdout premium. In an area with plentiful development space, though, the use of eminent domain might not be necessary, because there wouldn't be a single property without which a project couldn't proceed. It depends whether it was the specific site or just the tax exemption that Target wanted.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 9:33 AM
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mr blandings you are so full of content! ashamed of my frivolity! *expires*


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 9:47 AM
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6: Mr. Blandings is building his dream blog, right here at Unfogged!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 9:55 AM
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Quick, somebody renew Standpipe, before we rack up too many late fees.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 9:56 AM
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Also, tomorrow is the Texas primary! I think I'm going to vote in the Republican primary. Specifically because of the board of education primary.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 10:08 AM
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I think I'm going to vote in the Republican primary. Specifically because of the board of education primary.

Ah, thanks, that gives me a reason to vote in the primary.

Does voting in the Republican primary effectively register me as a Republican for the balance of the election year? I know some states with open primaries do this, which would make me hesitate.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 10:27 AM
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Texas: back to México. Florida: back to Spain. It's the only sensible option.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 10:30 AM
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I don't know, but this doesn't seem like the kind of thing you'd see much in states that entered the Union from the public domain. Sections 16 and 36 typically don't get flipped, although they do get exchanged.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 10:41 AM
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Texas: back to México. Florida: back to Spain.

This would potentially give me triple citizenship.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 10:42 AM
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It depends whether it was the specific site or just the tax exemption that Target wanted.

From heebie's recounting, it was the tax exemption. As the story is told, Target was intending/threatening to close its existing store in HeebieTown and the state decided to find a way to make its remaining in town more attractive to it. This does happen all the time, from what I've heard.

The private sector has been dictating terms to governments (state, local and federal) for some time now, right? And with the economic downturn,* saving and, in this case, creating jobs -- not to mention the other economic benefits of keeping the store in town -- is paramount, so private companies have even more bargaining power.

* man, I'm getting tired of this term


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 10:48 AM
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I've always thought this sort of thing should be a huge counter-argument to the "America's markets are the most free and efficient in the world" crowd. I mean, according to neoliberal economic theory, this practice should be creating huge inefficiencies. We're talking about government propping up with huge subsidies precisely those activities which "the market" has deemed not to be cost effective.* You don't really see this sort of thing that much in the UK. There's a bit of it, with regional development agencies subsidising new factories and such, but because government is so centralised, and has relatively little incentive to stop a company from moving from one town to another, you don't get the same race to the bottom of tax subsidies you see all the time in the US. I wonder if anyone has actually done a proper analysis of just how much inefficiency this generates.

* I realise that often companies don't really intend to leave, they're just using it as a bargaining chip.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:04 AM
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From heebie's recounting, it was the tax exemption.

With apologies to Standpipe:

Obviously, they wanted the tax exemption. It's just that if there were 10 sites that could have worked for a new store with tax exemption, the state could have gone and negotiated its best deal in the market, as no owner would have had particular leverage, and the purchase price would have been fair. If there were only one, the owner could have tried to hold out, but then been forced to sell at no premium despite the massive increase in value attributable to the site's attractiveness for this development.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:15 AM
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As the story is told, Target was intending/threatening to close its existing store in HeebieTown and the state decided to find a way to make its remaining in town more attractive to it.

I'm not at all clear how you get this from the post.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:15 AM
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17: There's additional information contained in the secret code heebie embedded in the post.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:21 AM
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16: Mm-hm. I understand that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:21 AM
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They got into a scuffle with Heebie Town . . .

Didn't Jesse Jackson get into trouble for using language like this?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:22 AM
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19: I can't tell, but are you saying that you understood that when you wrote 14? Because based on 14, I'm not seeing it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:24 AM
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20: I'd like to introduce Unfogged's newest front-page poster, Hymie-Jemima.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:28 AM
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17: I jumped to a conclusion based on heebie's remark that Target had to be kept from 'leaving altogether,' but it's true that it may have been the kerfuffle over the initially proposed deal, once it was outed, that tempted them to leave, rather than any original intention or threat on their part to do so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:30 AM
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M/tch, for fuck's sake. I understand nothing, okay, happy now? Jesus.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:31 AM
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22: Scion of a family fortune built by selling kosher matzo brei syrup.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:33 AM
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I don't think Target was planning to leave until the GLO deal started to fall through.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:40 AM
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I think they'd outgrown the size of the store but it was still profitable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:41 AM
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Also, from the post, it was Heebietown, not the state, that gave the tax break to Target to get them to stay.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:44 AM
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Presumably the total tax load for the Target on the state property would have been lower than it was pre-tax-break-comes-to-heebietown, though, else they wouldn't have chosen to move to the GLO land.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:45 AM
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29: Don't jump to conclusions, Sifu. Maybe they just thought saying "Visit our store. It's on GLO Land" sounded totes cool.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 11:57 AM
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Ah, thanks, that gives me a reason to vote in the primary.

A good reason to vote in the Democratic primary: Stop Kinky f'ing Friedman from getting the nomination for Ag Commissioner.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:01 PM
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30: "Expect More. Pay GLO, GLO prices!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:04 PM
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Little know fact: since is was on land belonging to the State of Texas, it was actually illegal for anyone to pronounce the store's name "Tar-jay". Now though, that's been left to market forces.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:43 PM
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33: I've figured the Messicans pronounce it Tar-het, this being Tejas and all.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:45 PM
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35

I keep thinking about GloFish.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:45 PM
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35: The GLO Fish are the General Land Office's inter-agency league softball team.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:46 PM
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illegal for anyone to pronounce the store's name "Tar-jay"

I would support this legislation wholeheartedly.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:47 PM
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34: It's the French we're worried about. They're mad because Texas is bigger than France, so they keep trying to pull off clever plots to insinuate their vile language into our everday speech.

37: Racist.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:49 PM
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38.1: Say La Vee.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:53 PM
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That's not so much their language as their orthography.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:58 PM
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37: Semi-related, the dominant grocery store chain in this region is H.E.B. (the "B" stands for "Butt", the name of the family who started it). They also operate a number of "upscale organic and fine foods" stores called Central Market. But one often hears these fancier stores referred to as "Chichi B".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 12:58 PM
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40: The French are tricksy that way.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:00 PM
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43

Harris Teeter is a big grocery chain here, and it took some effort to break my habit of calling it The Hairy Titty.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:02 PM
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43: We have that store here, too. But local custom tends towards calling it The Hairy Teat, we being mildly higher brow than our tar-heeled neighbors.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:05 PM
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44: Totes bourgie, wahoo.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:10 PM
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39: Say "lettuce" and spell "cup"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:21 PM
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MY OLD UNCLE COOOTER CALLS IT THE HOGGLY WOGGLY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:21 PM
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Also, one of the major suppliers of those paper covers for textbooks that businesses give to school districts was the Butter Krust Bakery. Everyone agreed on coloring out the "er" in the first word, but there was considerable controversy over whether it was funnier to color out the "K" in the second word or just leave it as is.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:22 PM
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In Maine, they used to call the Shop 'n' Save the "Smash and Stave".

Also, I've decided to unite east and west coast dialects and henceforth refer to things that are deprecated as "wicked sketch"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:22 PM
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The bakery had a production facility in town, and it was a popular field trip to go tour it, after which we all got a slice of hot buttered bread plus two branded pencils and a ruler. This made some people feel guilty about making fun of the name via the book covers.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:24 PM
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I just yesterday drove by the Charlottesville Harris Teeter. I assumed it was a men's store. Apparently not.


Posted by: avid cynic | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:32 PM
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"Charlottesville Harris Teeter" sounds like something akin to a Cleveland Steamer or a Greek Bailout.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:40 PM
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52: I didn't stop to see what was happening inside. Because I have all the suits I need, thanks.


Posted by: avid cynic | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 1:45 PM
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Greek Bailout

Make sure you put a towel down first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 2:02 PM
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I just didn't know that the state government was in the habit of flipping property.

I've been reading Charles Kindleberger's book, "A Financial History of Western Europe," and it has managed to expand my perspective on the scope of things that states (and cities) regularly do, and have done, for the last thousand years... sort of depressing, actually.


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 2:15 PM
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||

OMG important announcement: Cannibal the Musical is on Hulu!

|>


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 2:33 PM
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I still come up with stupid nicknames for supermarkets. They aren't even funny, anymore. Now I've got Blume saying we should go to Marketbucket or Foodblaster.

Purity Supreme was always Poverty Supreme, but that was just 'cuz it was the easiest to steal from.

Then there was Narsyphilis, the night club, but you couldn't buy anything, er, buy anything to eat, er, buy food there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 2:35 PM
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Greek Bailout

You're a doll, M/tchkins.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 2:49 PM
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57: The only one of those I can't resist is buying kitchenwares at Bloodbath and Beyond. Particularly effective when buying knives.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 2:50 PM
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Researching suggests that the answer to my question

Does voting in the Republican primary effectively register me as a Republican for the balance of the election year?

is "yes," which would be dispiriting. I think I may just participate in the Green Party precinct convention next week.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 2:59 PM
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59: That is excellent. I'll have to start using that.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:03 PM
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60: I can't remember, CrimBulg, which part of Texas do you reside in?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:04 PM
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58: I'm still not letting you anywhere near my Treasury Funds.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:05 PM
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which part of Texas do you reside in?

I don't know if I ever said it explicitly: Austin, Hyde Park.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:09 PM
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Oh, no kidding. Did you know we have Austin meet-ups once in a while? Usually when a Yank sissy nonlocal commenter comes to visit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:12 PM
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There are a lot of organic/ health food stores out there with names of the form Nature's X, where X is typically some kind of container: Nature's Storehouse, Nature's Bin. I've taken to referring to them all generically as "Nature's Bucket" or "Nature's Trough." "Nature's Container" works well, too.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:13 PM
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A friend of mine is related to the cannibal that inspired Cannibal the Musical.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:29 PM
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Bloodbath and Beyond

That's from the Simpsons, right? [googles] Yep.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:33 PM
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Huh -- I must have picked it up from someone third-hand.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 3:43 PM
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Oh, no kidding. Did you know we have Austin meet-ups once in a while? Usually when a Yank sissy nonlocal commenter comes to visit.

I've only been reading regularly here / de-lurking for a year or so, and I've only been in Austin for a couple years, so I may have missed them. I'll happily join in on the next one, though.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 03- 1-10 4:34 PM
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Iraq: Blood, Baath, and Beyond.

I'm in the habit of calling the various big-box mall assemblies the Valley of Things, and managed to spread it at least a few people. It really does capture the sense of being surrounded.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 8:21 PM
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Valley of Things

Like.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 8:27 PM
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l like Valley of Things too. I've been trying to spread the use of the verb "to swoop", for "pick someone up". "Can you swoop me from the train station?" "We'll swoop Roxie on the way to dinner."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 8:31 PM
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I like "swoop". I'll do you a solid and start spreading that around as well.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 8:33 PM
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Now I owe you one.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 8:37 PM
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Make her do a pun, ned! C'mon!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 8:40 PM
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I once wrote a post just for him. Surely he wouldn't impose punning on me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 8:47 PM
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I think she just punted.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03- 2-10 9:01 PM
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