The petition drive to put the Columbia Town Center redevelopment enabling legislation up for referendum is being led by Russ Swatek, the leader of a newly formed group that is calling itself “Taxpayers Against Giveaways.”
Taxpayers Against Giveaways is falsely claiming that General Growths plans for Town Center “will increase traffic congestion and impose future additional burdens on Howard County taxpayers and Columbia Association lien payers.”
In truth, the enabling legislation will reverse the declining fortunes of the Columbia’s downtown and, according to an independent study by Bay Area Economics, the proposed redevelopment program “would generate over $4.8 billion in total economic activity and 3,140 jobs in Howard County ” in the construction phase alone.
“In addition, renovation of the Merriweather Post Pavilion would lead to an estimated 46,000 additional visitors per year and support approximately $1.35 million annually in increased revenues and County visitor expenditures.”
The arguments that Russ Swatek and the Town Center redevelopment opponents are making are not backed up my any studies that I am aware of.