I read a fascinating article on the use of incentives to attract Bass Pro and Cabela's stores to communities. "Cabela’s has received $551 million in local and state assistance during the past 15 years. Bass Pro Shops received $1.3 billion in local and state assistance during the same period." All told, $2.2 billion to two retailers, all from governments, or if you prefer, taxpayers. Even if you do not patronize these businesses you are giving them your money.
I constantly see communities giving large subsidies to retailers. Honestly, I have no problem with a downtown facade or signage program, or loans and grants to support new retail entrepreneurship, or even some support for activities like bringing a grocer into a unserved rural or urban community. But it is ludicrous for us to be giving away millions to support the likes of Walmart and Target, and even companies like Bass Pro or Cabela's, which can draw in shoppers from elsewhere.