Escondido, CA

The kickbacks of growth


Here’s a truth: residents of cities such as Escondido like to demand goodies in the forms of municipal services but they often don’t like the things that cities need to do in order to generate the money to pay for those goodies.

Cities are like sharks. They keep moving and they grow, or they founder and die.

The same people who grouse that the city doesn’t spend enough to pave and clean their streets and subsidize their favorite concerts or clean up after the homeless are also often the same people who snarl darkly that the city is up to something nefarious and evil when it allows a development to go forward.

I frequently read comments about how the city council members are “on the take” or “getting kickbacks” from developers for encouraging economic growth in the city.  This may or may not be true. I have no way of knowing. But what is true is that the city itself gets a “kick-back” when it encourages the right kind of growth. That kick back includes new taxes that translate into more services. Then there’s the contractors that make money by building those developments, and the taxes they pay helps create more city services. It all expands throughout the economy, or as John F. Kennedy said, “a rising tide lifts all boats.”

If a city encourages a healthy downtown it draws customers who spend money, which then puts more sales taxes into the city’s coffers. Why this should be considered an evil or nefarious thing, I have no clue.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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