Wednesday, March 12, 2008

No NPR in Silver Spring, that’s OK.

NPR was proposing to move its head quarters from downtown DC to Silver Spring the DC suburb where I live. The chose to stay in DC instead. Although it would be great to see Karl Castle at the local Chipotle, I’m always a little weary of big tax breaks used to lure companies. As the Silver Spring Penguin a local blog points out

“Montgomery County offered NPR about $32 million in permanent property-tax breaks and would have flipped the bill for an $18 million garage, The Washington Post reports. ”
So Montgomery County where Silver Spring is located would have been losing out on 50 million dollars. Granted some of those tax breaks might be from taxes that would not be collected if the current site sits empty. But as the Penguin also points in another article Montgomery County is facing a 300 million dollar budget shortfall next year.

Given that NPR has about 600, that’s about $83,000 per job for what they are spending. I would like to see a more indepth economic analysis (can’t find one on google), but my gut tells me Silver Spring is better off keeping the money.

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