Wal-Mart wants to expand its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., and they want local tax money -- i.e., money used for schools, job training, etc. -- to pay for it, according to Arkansas Daily Blog:

Morning News reports that Bentonville is forging ahead with creation of a giant (2.8-square-mile) Tax Increment Finance District so that school taxes can be siphoned off to provide infrastructure to serve such areas as the Wal-Mart world headquarters, a world-class art museum being built with Walton money and land Wal-Mart has acquired for future development.

I'm sure sales took a hit this week when Wal-Mart's website suggested that "Planet of the Apes" was a good flick to celebrate Black History Month, but still. Does the largest corporation in the world really need taxpayer handouts?

Nationwide, local governments have shoveled Wal-Mart over $1 billion in public money, according to a 2004 report from Good Jobs First. (That doesn't include the billions in Medicaid and other public assistance Wal-Mart workers are forced to collect thanks to the company's low wages and benefits -- which liberal blogger Matt Yglesias bizarrely defended.)

The most common taxpayer give-aways to the Waltons: free or reduced-price land, tax breaks, "infrastructure assistance," and the one being proposed here, "tax-increment financing" -- which, as GFJ notes, is typically promoted as a way to "help revitalize blighted areas."

Wal-Mart headquarters, a blighted area? Perhaps they mean that in the moral sense.