Letter: What are big box planners thinking?

What are big box planners thinking?

Shopping seems to be a big deal here in Kingman with the "shop local" signs all over the place. Those women claiming in the Miner that they can't get the groceries they want locally because Kingman is too small to provide exotic products found in the big city stores. I suspect they use shopping as an excuse to go to Las Vegas or Laughlin for other reasons?

We miss having a Red Lobster or a department store - even a full sized Penney's. But I'm sure the few times we'd patronize them would hardly justify those stores coming here.

If Kingman would annex Butler to increase the body count, perhaps Kingman would be more attractive to boxes. Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City are both larger than Kingman. As a man who hates shopping, I've found that if I can't find it easily in Kingman, I won't drive as far as Bullhead/Laughlin to shop! Instead, I find exactly what I want on the Internet, often without paying sales tax or shipping. On average it takes about four days to receive the item at my door via UPS or FedEx. Still, most of my discretionary funds are spent locally.

One wonders whether the big boxes actually have competent planning staff when outfits like Office Depot come to Kingman and locate a few doors from Staples. Kingman certainly had enough office supply stores including Wal-Mart! It was rumored that Lowes was coming to Kingman last year! Idiocy!

Considering that Kingman already had too many hardware stores including The Home Depot while one lumber yard went out of business! Now it seems, a new pharmacy is to locate across the street from Walgreens, despite the fact there is a drug store in every supermarket, and of course, the three locations of Uptown Drug. Hopefully, Walgreens will build its new store at Andy Devine and Stockton Hill and close the old store - perhaps to make room for another used car lot or bank or donut shop or car wash.

We moved here 10 years ago precisely because Kingman is a small city able to satisfy most of our needs, easy to navigate with little traffic with just the right amount of snow. It is very inexpensive to live here, and most important, it has great medical facilities including fire and ambulance service! Housing is cheap and taxes are very low!

Of course, Kingman foolishly relies on a sales tax for support which is the reason for the "buy local" campaign. Sales taxes are regressive for retail sales and unfair to the majority of citizens since the poor are taxed at a higher percentage of their income than those of us who are better off. However, with the city controlled by real estate development and business interests along with relatively affluent retirees, it would be very difficult to pass a city property tax. The poor majority generally doesn't vote, while well-off property owners always do!

Less someone argue that landlords would pass a property tax on to his tenants, not so! That is a fallacy because having been a landlord, I know that the rent charged is the maximum a landlord can charge and still keep the property rented! That amount is always a function of supply and demand regardless of expenses - that is capitalism! An item is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it!

Al Gleason, Kingman