Situation

Overview: Wal-Mart is asking the Milpitas Planning Commission to approve an 18,457-square-foot expansion. The expansion would take place at the store 301 Ranch Drive and include a grocery store.

Our Position: We urge the City of Milpitas to vote NO on the expansion of the existing Wal-Mart. The expansion threatens existing local businesses and their employees’ jobs. The expansion will also increase crime and traffic congestion.

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Wal-Mart Supercenter Expansion means:

MORE BLIGHT. Wal-Mart will take sales away from local stores. Some of these stores will close. An empty storefront creates an economic hole that can ripple and spread, closing other stores in the same center.  (See some of the stores that MAY be effected by the Wal-Mart expansion.)  These empty stores are also a magnet for crime and graffiti. As a taxpayer, are you willing to pay for:

•    Security guards to patrol abandoned shopping centers?
•    More police to respond to additional crime?
•    Clean up crews to pick up trash and paint over graffiti?

MORE TRAFFIC. The expansion includes opening Wal-Mart 24 hours a day.  To buy Wal-Mart groceries, residents will have to travel further than they would if they shopped at their neighborhood markets, causing more traffic during commute and noncommute times on:

•    McCarthy Blvd. South – between Ranch Dr. (North) and Ranch Dr. (South)
•    McCarthy Blvd. North – between Ranch Dr. (South) and SR-237 Westbound ramps
•    McCarthy Blvd. South – between Ranch Dr. (South) and SR-237 Westbound ramps
•    McCarthy Blvd. South – between SR-237 Westbound Ramps and Technology Dr.

NET JOB LOSS. Wal-Mart will take sales away from local stores. That means jobs at local stores, like Nob Hill in Foothill Square and Savemart in Milpitas Center, will be lost. A detailed academic study (1) proves that a community loses 1.4 jobs for every job a Wal-Mart creates. In addition to a net job loss, the jobs that get shifted to Wal-Mart are part-time, low wage jobs with no benefits.

Let’s stop this now. Does Milpitas really need another grocery store…especially at this cost?


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Get the Facts on the Proposed Wal-Mart Expansion

What Wal-Mart says: A Wal-Mart Supercenter will enhance our community.
The Facts: The Wal-Mart expansion hands Milpitas residents a bill to address:
•    More traffic and pollution
•    More blight, graffiti, and crime
•    Fewer jobs

What Wal-Mart says: An expanded Wal-Mart will create 75 jobs.
The Facts: The jobs Wal-Mart creates are part-time jobs at minimum wage and include no benefits. These jobs can’t support a family. A detailed academic study (1) proves that a community loses 1.4 jobs for every job a Wal-Mart creates.  That means there will be a net loss of jobs as a result of the Wal-Mart expansion.

What Wal-mart says: An expanded Wal-Mart will mean a sale tax increase for Milpitas.
The Facts: There will be no actual increase in sales tax because:

  • The expansion is a grocery store and only 30% of grocery sales are taxable.
  • The expansion will likely cause the closure of one or more nearby grocery stores. This means simply a shift of the same sales tax dollars from existing local businesses to Wal-Mart.

 

What Wal-Mart says: Wal-mart cares about Milpitas. In December 2009, it donated $7,500 to local charities.
The Facts: Californian taxpayers pay $86 million annually to pay for the health care and subsidized housing that low-wage Wal-Mart workers must rely on.
Why should Milpitas taxpayers subsidize Wal-Mart so they can make more profit? If Wal-Mart cared about Milpitas, they’d pay our citizens who work there a living wage.

1 “The Effects of Walmart on Local Labor Markets,” David Neumarka, Junfu Zhangb, and Stephen Ciccarella, Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 63, issue 2, March 2008, pp. 405-430.

2 August 2004 Report from the Institute for Labor and Employment at the University of California, Berkeley.

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