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Old 02-09-2019, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,609 posts, read 4,647,878 times
Reputation: 16331

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https://gazette.com/premium/colorado...a63fe1bcf.html

Scheels All Sports, the North Dakota retailer that plans a north-side Colorado Springs store the size of a Walmart Supercenter, would receive more than $16 million in incentives over 25 years under a proposal the City Council will consider next week.

Whether the retailer would build its store if the council rejects the financial package isn’t known; Scheels declined to comment, and city officials aren’t sure if the retailer would walk away.

“I can’t be certain that they would build it,” Bob Cope, the city’s economic development officer, said when asked what would happen if Scheels didn’t receive city help. “I would be 99 percent sure that they would build the store if they get the incentive.”

The proposal before the City Council no doubt will trigger a debate about incentives. Colorado Springs officials have used them over the years but usually with discretion and not without sometimes heated discussions about their potential for success, what the city would gain and whether incentives amount to a government subsidy.

The council will review the proposal at 1 p.m. Monday at its workshop session and could vote on it at its 1 p.m. Tuesday formal meeting. The council meets at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.

Scheels announced in October it would build a 220,000-square-foot store northeast of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway in the 135-acre InterQuest Marketplace, which is home to the Great Wolf Lodge water park and resort, a theater complex, restaurants and stores. It would be Scheels’ second Colorado location; the retailer opened a 250,000-square-foot store in September 2017 in Johnstown, north of Denver.

Scheels sells apparel, sporting goods, fitness equipment and camping and hiking gear, among other merchandise.

But Scheels also brands itself as an experience — and one that draws customers from outlying areas. At the Johnstown store, shoppers can ride an indoor Ferris wheel, buy sandwiches, candy and fudge at one of the roughly 75 specialty shops and watch fish swim in a 16,000-gallon aquarium.

In a presentation the City Council will consider, Cope touts Scheels as an economic development winner for the city. According to his report, Scheels will:

• Invest $84 million on land, construction and furniture, fixtures and equipment for its store.

• Create 545 permanent jobs — 400 at the store paying an average annual salary of $46,500 and 145 more at nearby businesses with average pay of $42,118. Another 916 temporary construction-related jobs also would be created. The economic impact of all jobs would be $1.5 billion over 25 years.

• Generate $60 million annually in retail sales and $53 million in net new city tax revenue over 25 years.

• Draw 40 percent to 50 percent of its customers from outside the InterQuest area.

“It’s bringing in new sales tax revenue and not cannibalizing existing revenue,” Cope said.

To attract the retailer, the City Council is being asked to reduce the city’s sales tax rate on sales at the Scheels’ store from 2 percent to 1 percent over 25 years. Scheels then would enact a public improvement fee — essentially a private sales tax — of 1 percent and keep the estimated $16.2 million it would generate over that span, an average of $647,363 a year.

Scheels could use money from its public improvement fee to offset its $84 million investment, Cope said.

Scheels’ fee would be on top of one put into place and collected by Nor’wood Development Group, the Springs real estate company that developed InterQuest Marketplace. Nor’wood’s fee, essentially an added sales tax, pays for roads, sidewalks and other public improvements at the development.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:57 AM
 
6,282 posts, read 3,369,466 times
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We spent almost half my adult life in Colorado Springs and loved so much about it. But the use of private taxing districts of various types was one of the dumbest things about politics in that area. A way for developers to transfer not just their cost, but their risk, onto the taxpayers. Just ask anyone who lived through the big collapse of the taxing districts in the early 90s. Free enterprise needs to succeed or fail on the open market, not based on which company can get local governments to pick up the cost and risk. That isn't how capitalism is supposed to work.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:01 AM
 
20,617 posts, read 38,469,790 times
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Isn't there a huge Bass Pro Shop right up off I-25 and Northgate? Wouldn't a lot of the merchandise selection overlap each other?

IMO, and absent some sort of public emergency, taxpayers should spend no tax dollars to lure companies to their areas, especially common retailers, for pete's sake. Let our vaunted corporate free enterprise heroes pay for it themselves ... like the rest of us have to do. Especially the case since the Supreme Court says "corporations are people." Fine, let our corporate "citizens" pay their own damned way ... as each of us does.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 02-09-2019 at 11:31 AM..
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,609 posts, read 4,647,878 times
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What's needed are more "primary" jobs, i.e. jobs that pay well and bring in money from outside the community. Incentives should be focused on bringing in primary jobs.

For example, an Engineer making $100K+ working for a large corporation is payed with revenue from outside the community. As he spends that money, it's distributed among the community and creates secondary jobs.

A retailer just competes with other retailers for the same funds. There is no net gain to the community unless that retailer can attract money from outside the community.
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Old 02-09-2019, 12:16 PM
 
20,617 posts, read 38,469,790 times
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Primary jobs in manufacturing are hard to come by since many of those jobs have gone offshore, been automated or were replaced by robots.

My favorite ploy to attract new money to any area has always been to make the city attractive to retirees. We bring free money from outside but spend it locally -- coolest deal of all. We put no kids in the school system but our tax dollars help pay for one just the same (free money for the school systems). We need no jobs so there's no tax giveaways to attract job providers. We don't work so we aren't clogging the roads during rush hours. We're settled and don't fill jails and court systems with drunk and disorderly cases. The jobs we do attract are eateries, retail, services and medical. The especially good jobs that we attract to an area are the medical jobs that old folks need; docs, nurses, pharmacies, and medical facilities. I live in the Phoenix area and can tell you that this model works like a charm. We bring free money and we spend it on local things, to include the taxes that give us a great, well maintained road system.

I think the city leaders have their heads in the past if they're looking for manufacturing work; it's been on a national downtrend for decades. The newer players in town tend to be data centers which take advantage of the low humidity and low temps of the city as a natural (FREE) way to cool down massive warehouses of data servers. FEDEX made the move years ago, putting a data center at Northgate and Voyager; Wal-Mart put a data center in near Voyager and Federal. In the FEDEX case they saved a fortune on computer cooling costs compared to the hot humid climate of Memphis. These are clean jobs with decent pay and no pollution.

What holds back the area is TABOR. Any visitor who flies in and sees decrepit roads, lack of stormwater runoff infrastructure, crumbling sidewalks, ancient sewage treatment plant, lack of lanes on I-25 north of Monument, and lack of transit will end up scoffing at COLO SPGS as a place to bring good jobs. Just not going to happen. When Amazon looked at places for its new HQ2 you can be sure that COLO SPGS made their list .... of jokes to laugh out loud about as they looked at truly robust cities.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
20,454 posts, read 9,622,694 times
Reputation: 19375
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Isn't there a huge Bass Pro Shop right up off I-25 and Northgate? Wouldn't a lot of the merchandise selection overlap each other?

IMO, and absent some sort of public emergency, taxpayers should spend no tax dollars to lure companies to their areas, especially common retailers, for pete's sake. Let our vaunted corporate free enterprise heroes pay for it themselves ... like the rest of us have to do. Especially the case since the Supreme Court says "corporations are people." Fine, let our corporate "citizens" pay their own damned way ... as each of us does.
I think there are exceptional cases that should be considered, but as you say, this sounds like just a common retailer.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:36 PM
Status: "Modern day Salem" (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: Colorado
796 posts, read 418,124 times
Reputation: 879
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post

What holds back the area is TABOR. Any visitor who flies in and sees decrepit roads, lack of stormwater runoff infrastructure, crumbling sidewalks, ancient sewage treatment plant, lack of lanes on I-25 north of Monument, and lack of transit will end up scoffing at COLO SPGS as a place to bring good jobs. Just not going to happen. When Amazon looked at places for its new HQ2 you can be sure that COLO SPGS made their list .... of jokes to laugh out loud about as they looked at truly robust cities.
It’s not that bad Mike. The use of sales tax on roads is doing wonders, and the excess tabor money is fixing flood control problems. Roads in an area that gets freezing weather will never look like Arizona roads, but you should come visit and ride along Woodman, Research, or Briargate which are now in great condition.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,883 posts, read 1,884,559 times
Reputation: 3202
I do not see the value in endorsing a massive tax package for a single retail outlet. Even a distribution center with multiple outlets is borderline. Yes, we need more primary jobs, and the city is pursing these, but as MFBE points out, they are not predominately in manufacturing anymore, a;though there will always be a place for that need. The best paying of these currently are in remote jobs and support roles that can be done locally for places far away.

Retirees do have a certain attraction for their value, however, the big drawback in large percentages of them is the fixed income aspect that motivates many to become tax averse for schools and infrastructure. But, perhaps the noise I hear from that group is due to the fact they are long time locals who want Cos to be a throwback to the Eisenhower era.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:14 PM
 
809 posts, read 1,553,930 times
Reputation: 1223
Why, yes, I would love to move my business to a city where you will use my tax money to grant a competitor a lower cost of operation. Why would you even ask?
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:22 AM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,884 posts, read 7,201,426 times
Reputation: 1584
Why do we need another competitor to Bass Pro shops? And why is all the new stuff going up NORTH!? Build some good retail in the city core for god's sake. We have nothing on the west side, save for Walmart.
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