Times are tough, unemployment is high, everyone's nervous about the economic future.
So, it's easy to understand the blinding dazzle of the promise of 900 jobs for one small Kentucky town and county.
Still, city officials in Williamstown must ignore the bright lights and focus on the realities as they consider a tax giveaway for the proposed theme park there featuring a full size replica of Noah's Ark.
The state of Kentucky and Grant County have already generously anted up for the project.
Now Williamstown is joining the giveaway fest with a proposed tax-increment financing deal that would give up 75 percent of the property taxes on the 800-acre site for the next 30 years.
That's a lot of tax that won't be collected for a long, long time.
The argument is that the project will bring jobs, visitors and spinoff activity like restaurants and motels to the community.
That may or may not happen, but if it does it will mean additional expenses for the community. More kids in school as their parents move to take jobs, more traffic on the streets, more trash to collect, more restaurants to inspect, more toilets flushing into the sewer system, the list goes on and on.
What will be the cost of all that additional activity?
Will Williamstown, the Williamstown Independent Schools or Grant County, have the funds to provide those services?
So far, the state has signed on for $40 million in sales tax rebates and Grant County has offered a set of incentives including reduced price land and cash to make up the difference when property prices rose.
Wouldn't other local businesses like a little help along those lines?
The numbers thrown out by Ark Encounters LLC have been big but, frankly, based more on faith than any solid calculations, or at least none that have been shared with Kentucky taxppayers.
Here's hoping the Williamstown City Council will ask the hard questions and insist on realistic answers before it commits to 30 years of a tax giveaway for a project that has already committed to locating in the community.