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CRA Gives $205,000 in Tax Money to Piggly Wiggly

Posted on January 28, 2016

CRA Gives $205,000 in Tax Money to Piggly Wiggly

Today the Community Redevelopment Agency voted to give $205,000 in tax revenue to the company which is locating a Piggly Wiggly’s at the former home of a Harvey’s grocery store.

City Commissioners Gil Ziffer and Scott Maddox were the only two no votes.

CRA staff reported to elected officials that:

“Cogen, Inc. is requesting $205,000 in City of Tallahassee Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) grant funds to assist in the renovation of the former Harvey’s Grocery Store in the Southside Shopping Center at 2526 South Monroe Street into a Piggly Wiggly supermarket. Cogen currently operates four Piggly Wiggly supermarkets in the Florida Panhandle and South Georgia, including a store in Quincy.”

City Commissioner Scott Maddox

City Commissioner Scott Maddox

City Commissioner Scott who voted against the measure, said “once again the CRA is picking winners and losers in the free market. They voted overwhelmingly to grant Piggly Wiggly $205,000 for interior renovations in a shopping center. Yet other businesses get nothing. It is unfair competition and unwise use of tax dollars.”

CRA staff reported to the CRA that since the closing of the Harvey’s supermarket in the Southside Shopping Center in March 2014, there has been strong interest in finding a replacement full-service grocery store for this part of the Southside community.

The interior renovations are currently underway with an opening planned for late February or early March.

20 Responses to CRA Gives $205,000 in Tax Money to Piggly Wiggly

  1. Beth Overholt Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Winn Dixie is just down the road a block or two. Winn Dixie has been open in that location for years. Winn Dixie doesn’t get any money from the CRA. Just makes you wonder.

  2. BEC Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 10:38 am

    How did Maddox & Ziffer vote when it came to the Edison?

    • Ben Poitevent Reply

      January 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm

      A reasonable question, maybe TR will research the answer.

  3. Paul Henry Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Another lost battle (for the taxpayer & free market) in the economic development war.
    http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/funkhouser/col-economic-development-incentives-federal-law-washington-state-seattle-boeing.html

    I disagree with the author in that we do not need more laws, but he is spot-on by saying “For several decades we have been conducting an economic-policy experiment in state and local governments, and now it’s time to stop the testing because the results are clear: The dominant paradigm, incentive-fueled competition among these governments, does not create economic prosperity.”

    These “wars” create the mindset that if we don’t spend it, someone else will.

    In neighboring Jefferson County, the taxpayer spent over $100K on some land for a business that promised around 80 jobs. None ever materialized, however the taxpayer was saved when another company bought the property and paid back the tax money spent. Commissioners have agreed to loan $800,000 for a small business venture here, and now are moving forward on a $7.6 million amateur sports complex that supposedly will bring a hotel to I-10 and SR 59 in Lloyd.

    Our politician’s egos for “economic development” are writing checks the taxpayers cannot cash.

  4. Chuck Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 11:00 am

    why not create a separate taxing district for those people that supposedly “need” a refurbished full-service grocery store

  5. Terry Ryan Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Who owns the shopping center getting this major benefit? Who is the management/leasing agent, also, getting benefit?

    • Brooke Reply

      January 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Here’s your answer:
      Units 1 – 5 of 2526 S. Monroe were purchased by Southside Plaza Ltd. in 1997 for $1.3m. The city of Tallahassee owns a vacant portion of the property. Southside Partnership is a NY Ltd. Partnership and the registered agent is Murray Edward at Talcor (1018 Thomasville Rd.)
      The Partnership is with Southside Plaza inc. (the President is Judy Eckstein). The company is listed as a Foreign For Profit entity. Judy is a managing at Eckstein Properties in NY. So who knows if she’s the owner or acting agent for someone else. In the end we’re giving a free loan to let them profit from.

  6. Hope & Change Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 11:33 am

    No, no, you do not understand, it is the government that picks the winners and losers. They will decide who will get certain advantages to succeed.

    Now the owner of the Piggy Wiggly will kick back, I mean, make a campaign contribution to his favorite Commissioners and they will get re-elected. it is the American way.

  7. R B Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 11:53 am

    This is miss-guided economic madness ,and with my tax dollars as well ! If free enterprise cannot or will not under it”s own volition, occupy a given location without tax dollar subsidy, then there must be an underlying economic reason that involves a high probabilty of failure, so why should the taxpayers become an unwilling partner in such a questionable venture? Makes no sense to me.

    • News Maven Reply

      January 29, 2016 at 11:31 pm

      Are you referring to Piggly Wiggly…or The Edison?

  8. Charles Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Where do I make a request for money like that? I want to get some while the getting is good, before it all runs out. [sarcasm]

  9. Franklin Thompson Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I want to renovate my house and help the neighborhood. Someone give me the phone # of the CRA.

  10. Brooke Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Absurd! They DON’T care because the majority are out by the end of the year. Guess they don’t realize they don’t have to be re-elected to their commission seats. The tax payers are watching!

  11. James Reply

    January 28, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    I hope they have good pork chops.

  12. whit Reply

    January 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    All I can say is people deserve the government they vote for.

    • Edward Holifield, M.D.

      Edward Holifield, M.D. Reply

      January 31, 2016 at 12:58 am

      None of us deserve this government. It is both corrupt and immoral. And the blacks and the poor continue to get “screwed” as noted by Scott Maddox.

      Tax money flows from South to North to fill the pockets of, among others, Mad Dog Construction, Ron Sachs Media, and the Doubletree Hotel.

      Meanwhile, the local budget of Healthy Start, which struggles to keep babies alive, gets cut.

      Now the CRA apparently will be killing off black folks on the South Side of Tallahassee with Piggly Wiggly tax subsidized cigarettes.

      Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death killing 480,000 people each year in this country alone, and at least 6 million people worldwide.

      We see the same pattern over and over again: the rich get richer and the poor get charity (crumbs), and city/county workshops.

      To those on the South Side we can now add tax subsidized tobacco to kill you.

  13. Henry Jenkins Reply

    January 30, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I personally know through my business partner that when Winn Dixie pulled out they cemented all the drains , cut all the electrical wiring and tore all the permanent storage coolers out . This took extensive work and was very expensive to replace . I also know they closed ( Winn Dixie ) and made it very difficult for the landlord to get them out of a closed building . I also know from people that live on that side of town ( friends , realitives , business associates at Famu ) that Winn Dixie is ripping the consumer off with very high prices . Speaking with someone at Famu I was told that due to the small size of the building it was very difficult to recruit a lot of grocery companies to that space . My partner said even Piggly wiggly was hesitant about the size of the space . You can’t expect a business to open if infrastructure repairs are not worth their return on investment .Right or wrong seems to me if south side was hell bent on a supermarket in that location something had to be done . I’ve seen government tax dollars spent any many worse ways .

    • Edward Holifield, M.D.

      Edward Holifield, M.D. Reply

      January 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      Apparently no other grocer beside Piggly Wiggly was offered $205,000 by the CRA to come to the South Side.

      There are other grocers in Tallahassee that don’t sell tobacco.

      • Franklin Thompson Reply

        February 5, 2016 at 7:08 pm

        The time line shows that the deal with Piggly Wiggly was signed and done, well before the $205,000 was handed to them. The $205,000 was not an incentive to locate there.

  14. April Reply

    February 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Yay piggly wiggly!

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