The City of Sparks Goes to the Movies

Time and again government bodies, from federal to state to local, are willing to spend taxpayer monies by selecting which business deserves a cash infusion and which is going to be left to struggle alone. It is frustrating to say the least, as it rarely turns out to be a good thing.

It wasn’t all that long ago that we were told that there were some businesses that are too big to allow to fail; banks and automobile companies. The trend has had a trickle down effect in to the states including Nevada.

A few years ago Nevada decided to cut Tesla Motors a big tax break in order to lure it to the state. More recently Las Vegas has been working on the same deal attempting to drag the Raiders from Oakland, using taxpayers money.

A couple of days ago, Sparks, Nevada, announced it had done the same thing by offering up $1.5 million in room tax money (earmarked for capital improvements) to Galaxy Theaters in order for the billion dollar corporation to renovated a recently closed theater on Victorian Avenue. As part of the deal Sparks is going to pay a million bucks up front for the renovation itself and the remainder in $100-thousand increments over the next five years.

Galaxy says it’s going to spend $6.1 million of their own money on the project. The deal also involves a 10-year lease.

As a side-note, I reported on Spark’s redevelopment project for the Victorian Avenue corridor back in 2005. Back then the claim was that the attacks on 9/11 had cause a downturn in the economy and that had dashed the hopes of city leaders and all the grand plans they had in the works.

Take a stroll south along Victorian, from Pyramid to the interchange at Kietzke Lane and El Rancho Drive where the three streets come together at East Fourth Street. There are at least 15 businesses that could benefit from a healthy infusion of a $100-thousand – after all as local members of the community, that room tax money, which is paid by tourists when they rent a hotel/motel in Sparks, is as much their money as it is the anyone’s.

In reality, that money doesn’t belong to the city. It belongs to the people who live, work and make up the city as it’s lawful residents. That means Sparks is handing out money that doesn’t belong to them – hence – taxation is theft.

As stated before, it is very rarely that any governmental body or agency chooses a successful business and the City of Sparks has been and will continue to be no exception to this rule. Perhaps if they tried creating an atmosphere inviting to the free market system, they’d find success – but then how would our so-called city leaders enrich themselves?


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