Libertarians Against The Domain

The local retailers of Stop Domain Subsidies get some support from the Libertarians.

Anti-retail-incentive activists Stop Domain Subsidies may have picked up some unlikely allies – the Travis County Libertarian Party.

Originally conceived to bring local retailer pressure to bear on council over a complex tax-related incentive deal with the upscale Domain shopping center, SDS is now trying to get a charter amendment passed, ensuring that such developer-centric retail incentives never happen again. Now the local Libertarians have adopted a resolution backing the plan.

"We're glad to see small businesses standing up against these government tax subsidies to their larger competitors," said TCLP chair Wes Benedict, but it may not all be locally-produced, small-vendor wine and roses. SDS activists have repeatedly said they were not opposed to subsidies, per se, but to this subsidy in this instance. Their charter amendment prohibits this kind of deal ever being done again, but also protects a whole slew of financial incentives, grants and loans for businesses of all sizes. It could also be a little uncomfortable, since in his press release Benedict goes on to bellicosely declare "Remember Las Manitas? Government incentives also encourage corruption."

So have the Libertarians mellowed on handing out state cash, or is this a marriage of convenience?

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