You shouldn’t need subsidies to build grocery stores

It has been announced that New Mexico will provide a $2.5 million tax credit and the use of city-owned land (it is unclear what subsidies will be given in terms of lease rates and/or property taxes) to facilitate the construction of a grocery store in downtown Albuquerque.

What I don’t understand is why taxpayers are subsidizing a new grocery store when there is already an existing grocery store downtown. It just doesn’t make sense. Government should not pick winners and losers by directing taxpayers’ resources to specific projects. I wonder how the owners of the current grocery store downtown feel about having a taxpayer-financed competitor? Also, if there was a market demand for more supermarkets in downtown Albuquerque, wouldn’t someone have built it already (absent, that is, from government interference?)

It is time to tell Mayor Berry, City Council, and our state leaders that this is not a wise use of scarce tax dollars.