Sunday, July 18, 2004

Would you trust this deal?

Walmart's involved in a supposedly mutually helpful association with the state of Texas, the purported goal being to help fund public education.  While the details seem fairly innocuous, I'm wondering why a corporation like Walmart even needs to get help from the state of Texas.
State Board of Education members Saturday supported a plan to invest up to $100 million in a proposed Wal-Mart distribution center.
The money would come from the state's school trust fund.
The proposal is backed by the Texas General Land Office.
Under a deal with the land office, Wal-Mart will buy 240 acres about 14 miles from the Houston Ship Channel, near Baytown.
The retailer will then build a two-million square-foot-facility.
The land office will buy both the land and the facility back from Wal-Mart for $80 million -- then ease it back to the company for 30 to 40 years.
The rent payments from Wal-Mart will total more than $187 million over the life of the 30-year lease and will go directly into the Permanent School Fund.
The fund sends money to public schools.
The project could create about 1,000 jobs.
Since I'm mighty suspicious of Walmart in general, I'd like to get more information about the details before I get excited about the generosity of Walmart and their concern for public education.