Reader's View: Mills now seems to think government money is OK
There must be some mistake. How can Stewart Mills III and Mills Fleet Farm in good conscience be part of a business deal with government, specifically St. Louis County and the city of Hermantown ("Board OKs tax deal for Fleet Farm project," March...
There must be some mistake. How can Stewart Mills III and Mills Fleet Farm in good conscience be part of a business deal with government, specifically St. Louis County and the city of Hermantown (“Board OKs tax deal for Fleet Farm project,” March 4)?
Mills told Minnesota Public Radio last year that, “I know through my lifelong involvement in my family’s business the hurdles, the barriers and the handicaps that are placed upon us in job creation through government.”
During his campaign for Congress last year, Mills regularly damned government as a hinderance to the private sector. However, he and his family-owned company seem more than happy to dedicate tax money from the city of Hermantown and St. Louis County for specific purposes and accept government subsidies elsewhere to help their business grow. According to bluestemprairie.com, Mills Fleet Farm in recent years accepted public subsidies in Minnesota from Carver County ($1.48 million), Brooklyn Park ($4 million in industrial revenue bonds), and Lakeville
($3.5 million in industrial development revenue bonds).
Look, Mills used tax dollars and subsidies for reasons he deemed helpful to the public and productive for business. Great. Fantastic. And kudos to him for doing so. However, I certainly hope Mills will, at some point, grow to admit that government can actually help people and the community and not serve solely as a “hurdle,” “barrier” and “handicap.” Perhaps someday Mills will buck the ultraconservative party bosses he had to please in his last run for office and concede that government assistance can be a positive thing, even when it’s not associated with only his family business.
Until then, however, it seems the hardheaded anti-government crusade drags on.