HiViz Shooting System, a company that manufactures gun sights and other firearm accessories, has requested that Wyoming offer the company a $2.5 million grant to help the company move from Colorado to Laramie, Wyoming.
The Laramie City Council will vote on the grant this week. They will also vote on whether or not to offer a $600,000 loan to the gun company. The money would help HiViz build a new factory after leaving Colorado in protest of its strict gun control laws.
The $2.5 million grant and $600k loan represent a hefty investment, but it will likely pay itself off in the long run. HiViz maintains a $21.3 million payroll, employs 56 people, and pays a total of $1,161,000 in state and local taxes.
Offering such a massive loan to HiViz is somewhat controversial. On the plus side, HiViz will significantly boost the local economy. On the downside, there’s no reason why Wyoming taxpayers should have to be responsible for covering a company’s moving fees.
Additionally, it offers an unfair advantage to HiViz. Why should local officials offer a $2.5 million grant to HiViz when there are plenty of other local businesses who also need that kind of money? Is it right for officials to force tax payers to foot HiViz’s bill when other companies have been paying taxes for decades and don’t see a cent from the local government?
On top of all that, HiViz is already receiving a 20,000 square foot facility from the Laramie Economic Development Corporation for free. The plot of land is worth about $762,300.
Altogether, it’s not surprising that HiViz picked Wyoming as its new home. The free land should help HiViz get established and the state’s gun-friendly laws will offer security to company shareholders.
The big question is how far Wyoming should have to go to accommodate HiViz. Do you think that the politicians are justified in offering such a sizable sum to HiViz in order to pull in millions of dollars in taxes? Or do you think it’s wrong that council members are giving handouts to an out-of-state company when there are plenty of local business that would love to receive that kind of money?
Source: Laramie Boomerang