Richland County Loses Warehouse Retailer

Warehouse retailer Cotsco will not open a facility in Richland County, S.C.  Why not?  Local officials apparently didn’t offer enough in the way of taxpayer-funded incentives. As a result the company says it will take its 225 jobs elsewhere … “They felt like they weren’t wanted,” one of the company’s…

Warehouse retailer Cotsco will not open a facility in Richland County, S.C.  Why not?  Local officials apparently didn’t offer enough in the way of taxpayer-funded incentives.

As a result the company says it will take its 225 jobs elsewhere …

“They felt like they weren’t wanted,” one of the company’s local developers told The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.

Of course the State article which discusses these hurt feelings appears to be a shakedown for more taxpayer cash as the developer also told the paper Costco would “reconsider” coming to Richland County if local officials upped the ante.

Gotta love government-run”economic development” right?

Guess Costco’s peeps should have called the Boeing lobbyists … 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Companies looking to locate in South Carolina should not be bribed to come here.  Our state should work on developing a competitive tax climate for all companies –  a process that starts with the elimination of the individual income tax.

Government-subsidized incentives only wind up shifting – and raising – the tax burden on individuals and existing small businesses. Not only that the lack of disclosure associated with such handouts is a recipe for corruption.

Oh … and as has been repeatedly demonstrated in this case, there’s no guarantee incentives will ever translate into the jobs promised on the front end of these projects.

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Smirks December 11, 2013 at 5:35 am

Remember when Walmart was one of the loudest voices against Amazon getting incentives? Remember when Walmart covered Nikki’s ass with that 4000 job pipe dream of a promise?

Somehow I doubt Walmart wants competition with its Sam’s Club stores in the area. Let’s be honest, that is the most likely reason nobody rolled out the red carpet of incentives for CostCo.

I wish they would come here, better stores with better paid employees if you ask me. Fuck Walmart.

El Kabong December 11, 2013 at 7:08 am

Agreed, and if you read the article all they were looking for were incentives to offset the cost of improving the roads in the area. Improvements that were being required by SCDOT. If any area is zoned for a particular use, the state should be prepared to improved infrastructure to accommodate that use.

scsweepin December 11, 2013 at 8:07 am

That particular intersection is much of the time a “parking lot” as it presently exists (Green’s and Sportsmen’s Warehouse at Piney Grove Road). It already needs improvement. Hence, the total cost of the needed improvements, in my opinion, should not be borne by Costco.

I suspect that most would likely agree that if the Hwy. Dept had any funds, the improvements wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

Full disclosure: I regularly stop at Green’s when re-entering Columbia from the Upstate. Hahaha.

idcydm December 11, 2013 at 8:50 am

Let’s be honest, Costco, just like Walmart, hurts the mom and pop stores but you like Costco.

If Costco had come before Walmart would you be saying Fuck Costco?

Just another guy December 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

Disagree. Costco does not carry nearly the selection that Walmart does. They only carry about 4000 items in their stores where Wal Mart carries on average 100000 items. Costco does carry the basics and a few specialty items, but the mom an pops have had to evolve and carry more Specialty stuff. Also Costco pays there employees great with great Benes. They have almost no turnover. The one in Greenville is great. Too bad for Cola.

Will, do you think Costco should pay for the roads to be upgraded or is that a core function of government? Last time I checked, roads are a core function and Costco will be paying taxes, so should they not be able to get good roads?

idcydm December 11, 2013 at 9:24 am

Glad you enjoy Costco but a big box store is a big box store be it named Walmart, Costco, Home Depot, Lowes and they all have hurt the mom and pop’s.

Jackie Chiles December 11, 2013 at 9:28 am

Are there any bulk mom & pop’s though? Unless there’s a mom and pop competing against it, I’m not sure how it could hurt mom & pops. It’s like saying opening the BMW plant hurt all the mom and pop car manufacturers in SC.

idcydm December 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

I’m old enough to remember Tucker, Hudson, Studebaker like I said they have all hurt mom and pop;s but the Stanly Steamer was a little before my time.

I’m not saying big box’s have no place but to say they haven’t affected the market if pure bunk. I even remember when there were mom and pop grocery stores.

Jackie Chiles December 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

Coscto isn’t a normal grocery store though. It caters to a different market.

idcydm December 11, 2013 at 9:56 am

OK, so you are a different market and like Costco, good for you.

I really don’t care if you like Costco or Walmart, at least you have a choice but some on here only want you to have one choice.

Like I said big box’s have changed the market and if the mom and pop’s can’t keep up with the market someone else has lost a choice. It’s called free inter-prize except it ain’t free, it always seems to include tax dollar or lack there of.

? December 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Dude, no offense, but capitalism is a “bitch”, that’s what makes it capitalism. Some “mom & pops” won’t adapt, but some will.

Competition is good.

idcydm December 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm


hahahaahahahahaha December 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Costco pays great? HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAA!!!! What a bold face outright LIE!!

Jackie Chiles December 11, 2013 at 9:16 am

Whatever happened with that 4,000 job promise? Did Wal-Mart ever create even a fraction of those jobs?

CorruptionInColumbia December 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

They took a lot of full-time jobs and divided them into two (or maybe more) part-time jobs. It’s kind of like basic cell division in biology, except the two (or more) parts that divide from the main part don’t each grow to the original size of the main one.

SCBlueWoman December 11, 2013 at 11:43 am

What about the $500k, per store, in assistance that the taxpayers of this state pay to subsidize the substandard wages of Wally World?

scsweepin December 11, 2013 at 6:29 am

Agreed with few exceptions:

“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Companies looking to locate in South Carolina should not be bribed to come here.”

Almost entirely agreed:

“Government-subsidized incentives only wind up shifting – and raising – the tax burden on individuals and existing small businesses.”

However, please to elaborate:

“Our state should work on developing a competitive tax climate for all companies – a process that starts with the elimination of the individual income tax.”

Say what?

Jackie Chiles December 11, 2013 at 8:50 am

Lol I know. So let’s create a competitive tax climate for all companies by not changing anything about company taxes.

scsweepin December 11, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Actually, let’s address company taxes if the objective is “competitive tax climate for all companies.” I don’t think individual rates are either the most effective way nor the first place to start if our goal is company competitiveness.

? December 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

See my above post.

? December 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Just a “FYI” for both of you, Subchapter “S”‘s, which comprise a large number of smaller corporations in SC, rollover to personal income tax for the owners…so from that perspective an income tax reduction helps both businesses of that nature and the “little” guy.

It neglects the big corporations with different structure, but they get FILOTS and all sorts of other shit(see BMW/Boeing) anyway so they don’t need as much “help”….not that I don’t think cutting as much as possible isn’t better for SC.

scsweepin December 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Thanks for the lesson in corporate structure and their consequent tax treatments, Einstein. I’ve only organized 5 LLC’s, 1 C, 1 Sub S, and 2 Sole Proprietorships in the past 40 years.

You many not always like my take on things, bud, but you won’t find me opining on matters I know nothing about.

? December 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm

Well, then, why wouldn’t you know that a reduction in income tax would help being competitive in garnering/creating small business? You don’t have to be an ass about it.

This has nothing to do with your “take” on things, I simply stated a fact.

scsweepin December 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm

You posted an opinion, as did I. Opinions are not necessarily “facts.”

In “fact,” here is another “opinion” that is based on research, data, and scholarship instead of anectdotal postulation and feel-good political doctrine.

Coming from Martin Feldstein whom you may or may not remember as Chair of the Board of Economic Advisers for Ronald Reagan is a summary of his research on the topic of the effect of personal income tax rates on corporation and economic expansion. It is lengthy but worth the read.

? December 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Oh come on, what do you think is going to make us more competitive in creating/drawing/retaining small business if not a tax reduction? Are you going to say “education”?

I soon as I saw “Harvard” I didn’t have to read any further. For every study showing one I can you show you another, it’s only that you’ll never see one study from Harvard telling you to reduce taxes or shrink government.

Very simply, if taxes aren’t an issue, why not going ahead are raise them if it doesn’t affect competitiveness or hurt the business climate?

It’s just like the minimum wage. Why not raise it to $20/hour?

I think you know better myself, but if you really feel like lowering taxes isn’t going to help then I’m sorry I offended you(which I didn’t intend).

? December 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm

edit: “why not go ahead and raise them”

Slartibartfast December 15, 2013 at 11:28 pm

You do know that Reagan almost never paid any attention to Feldstein. Niskanen had the Gipper’s ear.

Jackie Chiles December 12, 2013 at 10:58 am

That’s a good point.

Seen it all before December 11, 2013 at 6:46 am

Walmart is a prime donor to Nikki Haley. She has gotten funds from them, and more importantly THEIR suppliers from around the country (much harder to track supplier donations than Walmart direct donations) Walmart also gives to her “foundation”, the Original 6 Greedy Bastards.

County incentives generally run hand in slippery hand with state incentives. State does not cooperate, then incentives don’t work

Costco got “Nikkied”, Walmart got their money’s worth.

Marie Harrison December 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

Why is the contact phone # for the Original Six a Bamberg land line?

nitrat December 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Is Costco a member of ALEC…like Wal-Mart?

TK December 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

I think millions of dollars of tax incentives and road work is a small price to pay for the opportunity to buy toilet paper in bulk, especially in Richland County.

jimlewisowb December 11, 2013 at 9:36 am

Interesting development

Down at the Git’nGo word is that Costco shifted its attention to a site across the Highway 76 from the Ballentine WalMart where the azalea farm pond used to be

That site offers several advantages
1) Highway 76 would be impassable 24/7 365 days of the Year
2) Irmo PD would be primary responder for all 911 Dog Needs Killing calls
3) It would be piss on you time to the City of Columbia for the Harbison Rape
4) School District Four and a Half would be able to piggy back off the development in the area to build a new Inlaid Italian Marble Administration Headquarters, a couple of elementary schools, a new middle school, a new High School, an Alternative Lifestyles Academy, Recreation Retreat restricted to Board Members Only and a Sgt. Schultz Transportation Yellow Bus Hub to serve all points East of the Mississippi, North of the Canadian Border, South of Key West and West of Guam with the exception of Horry County

euwe max December 11, 2013 at 9:57 am

Capitalism in action.

How about renaming it to Castro’s?.

? December 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Ha! Only if you get to have a select few people decide how much to take from others to do such “good”. Nice word play though. Very well done.

euwe max December 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

a select few people decide how much to take from others to do such “good”.

chamber of commerce?

? December 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm

lol…precisely…except they dupe small business people to contribute money to them so they can buy off pols “for their interest”(when it’s against their interest most of the time) and then pocket the “overhead” in between.

AKA “Crony Capitalism”

Umoof December 11, 2013 at 11:12 am

Without major tax incentives, why would any company move to SC? Oh yeah, the dumbasses there will work for peanuts and then turn around and blame unions or immigrants.

Philip Branton December 11, 2013 at 11:21 am

Dear Spawar Atlantic Informational Warriors and Cadets at the Citadel and all high school social studies students, when being “fed” this type of information for consumption, what has been the readers typical reaction. “Who cares” …right? Well, why has Wil Folks made a choice to even provide this information on his website to begin with. Richland County can do what they want. Wal-Mart can do what they want. The real issue is what can the consumers and pension investors do to get the products and services they want instead of SLAVERY to WALMART.

Just think…….how would a COSTCO store be used on a Google Earth map to be situated in a city in the Central African Republic so the Richland County elected officials and Nikki Haley are sent a clear and “present” financial message. How is Wal-Mart and Nikki Haley and Richland County “officials” practicing “consumer genocide”.

Finally, how would Nancy Mace use this very article as a reference in a debate question with Lindsey Graham.

Spawar Atlantic workers….how should this very article be re-tagged to every email DOD wide…?

Citadel Cadet… should this article be used to ask your “professors” very good questions in class before your stinkin’ professor thinks about giving you a homework assignment.

High School Social Studies students… should this article be used via snap chat to inform high school investors of what questions to ask the PRINCIPLE of every high school in America all on the same day…?

{Boomerang NSA, FBI, CIA, US AID, DOD, and Susan G Komen, wager 1 Million bitcoins via the Las Vegas Bellagio….}

Pope Francis December 14, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hey, Phil! Your mamma has so many teeth missing, that it looks like her tounge’s in jail.

ELCID December 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Costco is a great company and Columbia needs a Costco.
A little history. First Costco was screwed by the Sandhill Developers.
That what’s kept them out of Columbia the first time and for so long.
Second, is this mess with Columbia.

I’d suggest that Costco locate near St. Andrews as proposed. Because, this is where the most people live and is a center point for other people traveling thru the area.
Also, Costco should locate in Lexington County not Columbia. That way they avoid the high Columbia Sales Taxes that have hurt other retail businesses in the Harbison area Columbia in city stores. Take a look at I-26: the Irmo Hwy 60 area, the Broad River Road Exit and the Ballentine Exit locations. Look at I-20 at Bush River Road Exit. These can be in Lexington County. Costco is a destination store and doesn’t have to be located near a mall. Just like in Charleston.

ELCID December 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Adder: Don’t let Columbia threaten you with their water department. Lexington can supply you water too. And, Lexington has in the past threatened the Columbia Water Dept. with seizure of it’s water lines in Lexington Cty. If they try that tactic again to intimidate future Lexington Cty businesses in the Harbison areas.

? December 11, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Good commentary.

WTF December 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm


Soft Sigh from Hell December 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Does a new retail outlet actually create additional employment? How much is just shifted–along with the purchases–from other nearby retail establishments. How many places create buying, rather than just attract it?

Costco whore December 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Those 3,000 Columbia based Costco members like myself, will continue to shop the costco stores in MB, Charleston, Greenville, Spartanburg and Augusta or buy it at All the while wondering why everybody else is so stupid.

pcbimbo December 12, 2013 at 7:56 am

richland county is just like the city of cola. a bunch of people running things that aren’t qualified to work in a fried chicken joint. Its been that way for YEARS. I’ve owned a business for years in this town and I’ve seen it first hand… go deal with richland county on any issue and you’ll discover just what side of the bell curve their own……….we’re Detroit Lite…..inmates running the asylum.

GrandTango December 12, 2013 at 8:08 am

Amazon is paying local people $11 million year in salaries, already. Amazon is paying $2 million in property taxes for schools. As compared to NOTHING but unemployment and dead land w/o Amazon…

Remember FITS rAILED against Amazon…

And Sanford (the force behind this site) is collecting about $300,000 a year in salary and bennies…for NOTHING!!!!!

But FITS and some leftists calling themselves Republicans attack some incentives to a BIG job provider…yet 50 million are getting REAL welfare, government housing and Obama phones w/ a $17 trillion budget sucking the life out of the economy for decades……yet FITS and the Dumb-@$$#$ who hate competing to lure Amazon. don’t say a F*@kin word about that…

While Richland becomes more of a laughing stock and example of bad government with each day…(Corrupt elections, Road tax and democrat Racists running wild)….

Pope Francis December 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm

Your mama is like Bazooka Joe. Only 5 cents a blow.

hahahaahahahah December 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Who cares. 225 very low wage jobs is nothing to cry about. Costco is acting like a little spoiled rotten baby. I say, make it hard for them to do business anywhere. Boycott their sorry behinds. All of these executives are snobby pathological narcissist anyway. Don’t think so? hahaahahahahaha!!! … idiots.

Slartibartfast December 15, 2013 at 11:07 pm

In Greenville, Costco starts their lowest paid workers at $13.00/hr. After three months probation, it generally increases to $16/hr. There are people at that Costco who, as managers, make $28.00/hr. They also hire independent sales consultants who demonstrate products and make $12.50/hr. Costco was not courted, but Greenville doesn’t have punitive business taxes, and they didn’t have a bunch of whining socialist idiots protesting the store, either. I know these facts because I asked.


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