What happens when the city gets involved in private business

Ask Joe Moore how he felt when he found himself competing for the health club market downtown and the city gave a half-million dollars to the YMCA to develop their new facility in the Landing project. Moore used to own Moores Nautilus in the basement of Lazarus, but swore off doing business in the city for good when tax dollars were competing with his dollars.

Ask the Wamplers, who own Hara Arena how they feel about competing with the Nutter Center.

Here we go again with Ballpark Village, now with the City talking about supporting competition for the very same YMCA they pushed into power around 15 years ago:

Dayton searching for solutions to retail success on waterfront
The city has ruled out fashion retail for the development because that type of merchandise is at regional malls.

“Fashion apparel is not the target. We’re looking at places for people to go and be entertained,” Dickstein said. That could include an upper tier fitness facility; a venue like Dave and Busters with arcade games and food; restaurants, housing and green space.

What about the restaurants in the Oregon District who have had to fight the Greene already? And the City wants to add to the pressure? Shouldn’t it be clear by now that tax incentives for business relocation puts established business on an uneven playing field.

It’s time to stop the madness now- not just locally, nationally. Tax dollars should go to infrastructure for all, health and safety services and government services- not as a way to sweeten the deal for some, while the rest of us fight for our lives.

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