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No to Walmart, and here's why

September 02, 2011

As a resident concerned about a potential Walmart in Burbank, I would like to say that everyone wants to pay less for things. Everyone.

And as a teacher who can't get more hours, I can especially appreciate that. But if there is one thing that I could try and get across to people, it would be these “low prices” that Walmart advertises aren't as low if you look at the larger picture (“Walmart is far from a cure-all,” Aug. 30).

A lot of people who want Walmart think that its coming to town would be good because of the state corporate income taxes they will pay. But what a lot of people don't realize is that Walmart avoids paying millions in dollars in taxes a year because of the way their real estate trust is set up. They put their stores under the ownership of a real estate investment trust. Then they pay rent to the trust and deduct those payments as a business expense, basically paying rent to themselves, which brings down the company's taxable income and then lowers the state tax bill.

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Walmart is not the only corporation who does this, but it did start the trend. There are plenty companies that run tactics like these. Walmart’s lack of corporate responsibility is appalling. They put strangleholds on suppliers to meet their demand and rock bottom prices, which has single-handedly changed the way manufacturing in this country has taken shape.

We all want cheaper prices. I don't make enough money to shop at Whole Foods or Sprouts or some of the boutique stores in Burbank all the time. But I'd rather spend my hard-earned money at any of those places than give in to this company that is ruining this country.

People need to stop and say, “enough if enough.” Consumers can change the way retailers in this country do business. All they have to do is just think about the impact of what and where they are buying.

And this goes for every company, not just Walmart. Start making irresponsible retailers accountable for their actions.

Kate Nixa

Burbank

 
 

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