Ramesh Ponnuru: 'This Land Is Costco's Land'

Why are cities "stealing" land and giving it to Costco? Ramesh Ponnuru examines the economic-development justification given by cities for seizing property.
February 20, 2003, 6am PST | Abhijeet Chavan
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"Costco, the big warehouse chain, took a minor p.r. hit last year when the city council of Cypress, California, tried to kick a church off its land in order to give it to the company. But this case does not appear to be an isolated incident....Cities engaging in such property seizures typically claim that they are necessary to promote economic development. Members of the city council in Cypress, and the council's defenders, noted that Costco would generate more tax revenue for the city than a church would (not surprising, considering that churches are tax-exempt). But as Berliner notes, that's a dangerously far-reaching justification...The economic-development justification for property seizure is a license for abuse. "

Thanks to Vance Pomeroy

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Published on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 in National Review
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