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Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Walmart’s sole Chicago store has generated $10.3 million in sales tax revenue during its first two years of existence, including $5.3 million during the past 12 months.

The irony is that many Chicago officials have fought Walmart’s attempts to bring more stores to the city, because of concerns that they could put smaller stores out of business and that the retailer’s anti-union bias is bad for workers.

According to the story, the Chicago Walmart has 426 employees, paid about $11.30 per hour.

Not everybody is happy, of course. “This report card left out some key components that impact the residents and taxpayers of Chicago,” a spokeswoman for Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union tells Crain’s. “They should be setting the standard in terms of wages and benefits, but instead, what’s happening is, they’re lowering the bar.”

KC's View:
On the other hand, if Walmart had generated any more revenue for the city of Chicago, Lee Scott probably would have been named the new senator from Illinois.

These are never simple debates, but it seems to me that two questions need to be answered by the city of Chicago.

One, if that Walmart weren't there, would that $10.3 million in tax revenue have been generated by other retailers.

Two, if that Walmart were not there, would those 426 people have jobs making that much money?

My guess – and it purely is a guess – is that the answer to both questions is no.

In the current economic environment, in which so many governments are hungry for tax revenue and unemployment is surging, it seems to me that it is very difficult for cities like Chicago to keep Walmart out. How about New York, where they are so hungry for tax revenue that they want to tax sugared sodas? How about Los Angeles, which is part of a state where, for the first time in decades, more people are leaving than arriving?

Could this be the Walmart decade? Looks more and more like it…