The city is considering incentives of several types to motivate businesses to locate downtown, with payments of up to $1,000 to each. The city would supposedly cap such payments and examine applications for city benefits.
This proposal comes on the heels of comments by the mayor that Modesto needs to impose more taxes for public safety, and others say we must add a tax for roads. Why should we believe any proposal for more spending when we are already behind on current financing of operations?
Businesses are moving from one site to another, but creating few, if any, new jobs. If there was a benefit to locating downtown, smart business owners would already be doing it. Businesses are leaving, not moving into downtown, and that should be explored before we spend thousands of dollars on a wish or a bet that businesses will move downtown. Study where people live, work, and shop, and it will probably become clear that downtown is not the area that draws people when everything they do is miles away. For those people who live near downtown, more venues might mean something, but partial solutions are not likely to bring the masses to 10th Street or J Street.