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Chula Vista and Port District front money to Gaylord Entertainment

Free enterprise?

— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce regularly opposes legislation favoring citizen entitlements that would, theoretically, promote the general welfare. But the chamber and its local affiliates are all for corporate welfare.

Indeed, four years ago, two journalists were concerned that corporate welfare was draining funds from education. In particular, they worried about tax increment financing, or long-term diversion of property taxes to companies investing in an area. The journalists asked the U.S. chamber's top economist whether companies should stop seeking tax breaks from cities and states. That idea, snorted the economist, is "blatantly un-American."

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is determined not to be blatantly un-American. Late last month, the local chamber's board said it is all in favor of the on-again, off-again, on-again $900 million-plus hospitality center in Chula Vista. Specifically, the chamber enthusiastically endorses "the public funding model as proposed."

That means the chamber applauds the $308 million subsidy that will go to Gaylord Entertainment, a Nashville-based company with a frail balance sheet and a history of big losses. Chula Vista, its redevelopment agency, and the San Diego Unified Port District propose to plunk $178 million into infrastructure improvements. Gaylord will pay for $130 million in infrastructure but will get its money back from tax increment financing. "The chamber believes strongly in the Free Enterprise system," explained the board.

Free enterprise? Come now. It's socialization of the risk and privatization of the gain.

If Gaylord's hotel facility is ever built (and don't count on it), it will compete with the taxpayer-financed downtown convention center and the now-rising $348 million Hilton San Diego Convention Center Hotel, which is getting a $46.5 million subsidy.

Let's change the name to Subsi Diego.

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— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce regularly opposes legislation favoring citizen entitlements that would, theoretically, promote the general welfare. But the chamber and its local affiliates are all for corporate welfare.

Indeed, four years ago, two journalists were concerned that corporate welfare was draining funds from education. In particular, they worried about tax increment financing, or long-term diversion of property taxes to companies investing in an area. The journalists asked the U.S. chamber's top economist whether companies should stop seeking tax breaks from cities and states. That idea, snorted the economist, is "blatantly un-American."

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is determined not to be blatantly un-American. Late last month, the local chamber's board said it is all in favor of the on-again, off-again, on-again $900 million-plus hospitality center in Chula Vista. Specifically, the chamber enthusiastically endorses "the public funding model as proposed."

That means the chamber applauds the $308 million subsidy that will go to Gaylord Entertainment, a Nashville-based company with a frail balance sheet and a history of big losses. Chula Vista, its redevelopment agency, and the San Diego Unified Port District propose to plunk $178 million into infrastructure improvements. Gaylord will pay for $130 million in infrastructure but will get its money back from tax increment financing. "The chamber believes strongly in the Free Enterprise system," explained the board.

Free enterprise? Come now. It's socialization of the risk and privatization of the gain.

If Gaylord's hotel facility is ever built (and don't count on it), it will compete with the taxpayer-financed downtown convention center and the now-rising $348 million Hilton San Diego Convention Center Hotel, which is getting a $46.5 million subsidy.

Let's change the name to Subsi Diego.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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