MUSCLE SHOALS — The Muscle Shoals City Council is mulling a retail incentive plan that could spur development of unoccupied or dilapidated retail spaces outside the Wilson Dam corridor.
The city already has a similar plan in place for businesses to locate near Wilson Dam Road, but was asked recently by real estate developer Gregg Pounders to consider revamping that incentive plan to include property in other parts of the city.
Pounders is renovating the Sav-A-Lot shopping center on Woodward Avenue to house a Goody’s and two other retail vendors.
Pounders approached the council two weeks ago to seek a sales tax rebate based on the sales volume at the Goody’s location.
The proposal, presented by Mayor David Bradford on Tuesday, limits the amount of the incentive that could be paid to a developer outside the Wilson Dam highway area to the lesser of $250,000 or the cost of the project, and the incentive would only last five years.
The development plan for Wilson Dam Highway area allows for sales tax rebate to the developer of 50 percent of the sales tax generated by the project during a 10-year period up to $1 million. That incentive plan was put in place in 2010.
The proposal has not been voted on by the council, but council members seem to be in favor. The vote could take place at the Feb. 4 council meeting.
“I believe this is a good middle ground to what was being asked for,” Councilman Joe Pampinto said. “It is a good opportunity to get life in these idle buildings.”
The incentive program, if approved as presented, would only be open to national retail chains. Council members have said that stipulation is put in place to make sure businesses moving into the city and taking advantage of the incentive plan are stable and long-lived. But council President Jim Holland said he’d also like to see the city explore a similar incentive for locally-owned businesses wishing to locate in Muscle Shoals.
“That is my only reservation,” Holland said. “What if a project isn’t a national chain? What are we going to do about that?”
Under the proposed plan, to qualify, a business must anticipate $1 million in sales volume. If at any point, the business doesn’t reach that volume, the sales tax rebate would be paid in a prorated amount.
Jennifer Edwards can be reached at 256-740-5754 or jennifer.edwards@TimesDaily.com.
Retailer must have minimum annual sales of $1 million.
Must be a national retail chain locating outside the Wilson Dam corridor
Business history, financial strength and projected employment will be provided and reviewed by the council.
A sales tax rebate of 50 percent of sale tax generated by the project to be applied monthly for five years
Rebate would be limited to the lesser of $250,000 or the cost of the project.
Source: City of Muscle Shoals