The AJC’s Jay Bookman criticizes the state’s continuing effort to lure the NASCAR Hall of Fame in this article.
Given Atlanta’s other strengths, that deal ought to be more than good enough, but unfortunately, state politicians under the Gold Dome are scurrying to sweeten the deal.
As a matter of economics, there’s no way to justify any additional public subsidy of what will probably be a private, for-profit venture. NASCAR, after all, is a hugely profitable business, and it doesn’t need handouts.
In fact, it’s remarkable to see politicians preach to struggling Americans about the virtues of self-reliance and making it on your own, then turn around and offer tens of millions of dollars in tax subsidies to highly profitable businesses that they happen to like.
If there were a Hypocrites Hall of Fame, politicians like that would be among its founding members.
Cities are increasingly competitive when it comes to luring tourist attractions like this because of the increased sales tax revenues that come along with them, and in order to compete with other cities, we have to continue to sweeten the deal. I certainly don’t fault the Legislature for doing their part to bring this attraction to Georgia. Even though the Hall of Fame may be a private, for-profit business, the state stands to benefit greatly by its presence.