Another strong turnout of people attended the second monthly Reedley Town Hall, titled “Why Don’t We Have a Target Yet?” on Feb. 25.

About 50 people attended the hour-long forum at Reedley Community Center’s Senior Room, and learned a little bit from city leaders about truths and fallacies of economic development.

Rob Terry, Reedley’s community development director, and City Manager Nicole Zieba spoke at the Town Hall and answered questions from community members about the city’s development and attempts to draw businesses to Reedley.

“As a city, we seldom stand back and take account what our public understands economic development to be. Our goal is to give you just a snippet of what we consider economic development to be,” Zieba said. Using charts, she showed attendees that the city’s main sources of funding are property tax and sales tax. Those charts showed that Reedley keeps only a small amount of the funding (11 cents per dollar for sales tax and 16 cents for property tax) after the state and Fresno County takes their cuts, as well as special districts.

Terry talked about four basic myths that the public has about cities in economic development. They are:

• Economic development is the city’s job.

• Companies come to communities just because cities ask.

• All retail/commercial uses results in the same amount of taxation for the community.

• Economic development is completely driven by the free market.

Zieba and Terry answered the specific question about Target, with Terry explaining the specific criteria why the city hasn’t landed an outlet for the Minneapolis-based chain.  

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