Do 100 jobs equal $4.7 million?

That’s what the city wants to give cosmetics giant L’Oreal in the form of tax abatements, grants and cash to open a distribution center in the southern Dallas inland port, which the Dallas Business Journal reports will result in 75 to 100 jobs “to the area” at an average wage of $35,000 a year.

This kind of corporate welfare has long been popular with cities across the country, and there is usually very little discussion about whether the expense is worth what the city gets in return. One reason for this is that there are so many cities vying for these companies that if one city says no, another is happy throw the money at them. That would likely happen here; I’m sure Fort Worth, which is losing American Airlines at its Alliance Airport facility, would be happy to give L’Oreal (profits in 2011 were 1.5 billion euros, or about $2 billion) whatever it wanted.

Me being me, I’m curious: Is this a good investment for Dallas? Will we get our money’s worth, considering that each of those jobs will cost the taxpayers $47,000 each? Is there a better way to spend $4.7 million to get 100 jobs that doesn’t involve giving one of the world’s richest companies our money? My guess is yes, especially since the Business Journal, in an example of fearsome journalism, buried the bit about the 75 to 100 jobs in the last sentence of the story.


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  • RobynP

    These are the exact questions I was asking myself when I read the DBJ article! It’s great that L’Oreal wants to come to Dallas, and that they are going to create jobs in South Dallas. I understand why the city would assist with the infrastructure at the Inland Port. But I don’t understand the 90% tax abatement for 10 years. Seems like these 100 jobs are costing the Dallas taxpayers A LOT of $$$$.