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Many times I have mentioned how it has been shown that smaller businesses actually will produce more sales tax revenue per square foot than a big box store such as Wal-Mart.
Here is a posting from Citiwire.net comparing property tax revenue between a major mall and downtown mixed use development.
Mixed-Use Downtown Development Puts Standard Malls’ Tax Yield to Shame
Also you must remember that stores like Wal-Marts also are well known for fighting to get their property tax bills cut down to almost nothing. So not only does the sales tax revenue not cover their infrastructure and other associated costs, but they also don't generate enough property tax revenue to justify the tax incentives and other subsidies they receive.