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Independent Economic Analysis Says Nestle “Exaggerated” Economic Benefits to Chaffee County Extraction Project

This recently appeared in Chaffee County’s Salida Citizen, and addresses Nestle’s (now dubious) claims of economic benefits to Chaffee County:

A new economic analysis of the Nestlé 1041 application from Jean Townsend of Denver-based Coley/Forrest is highly critical of proposed benefits to the County from the Nestlé Waters project, and goes so far as to suggest that project revenues may not even cover County expenses.

The report cites several instances where Nestle’s claims of economic benefit to the county simply don’t apply:

Property tax revenues from estimated increases in NWNA property valuation are exaggerated, both because TABOR limits the ability of local governments to benefit from increased revenue and because a majority of school district revenues are controlled by the State.

Whether or not Nestlé trucks purchase diesel fuel in Johnson Village is immaterial, because State law does not allow local governments to collect sales tax revenue on fuel used by vehicles which travel on public highways.

Sales tax revenue from electricity usage by the project will not be available to Chaffee County because State law provides an exemption for manufacturing firms.

In addition, local government expenses may be understated, the memo suggests, because construction impacts have not been considered and because estimates of on-going impacts are arbitrary.

Nestle’s ability to externalize costs is legendary; has this Chaffee County-commissioned economic report caught them with their hand in the cookie jar?

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1 comment

1 Severn Williams { 04.21.09 at 7:56 pm }

Great post ,Tom. So glad you do what you do.