ELLISVILLE (KMOX) – City Council members this week again consider giving tax incentives to a Walmart developer, just days after learning that their Best Buy is closing.
Mayor-Elect Adam Paul said he was told by management that the Ellisville location was more than profitable and that its closing is likely because it’s so close to a newer one in the city of Manchester. That new Best Buy, along with a Walmart and other big-box stores, were built using tax increment financing, or TIF.
“It just pretty much reiterates my whole point, as far as as the damages of TIF. Eventually, there’s going to be a loser,” Paul said, referencing the jumping of retailers from one municipality to the other.
Many opponents of the Walmart have questioned what effect it would have on the Best Buy and on a K-Mart across the street.
“I hope that the deciding factor wasn’t a new Walmart being proposed down the street, because that’s an instant effect of what TIF can do.”
He said the loss of Best Buy would eliminate $300,000 of the city’s sales tax revenue. The Walmart, as proposed, would bring in approximately $500,000, although Paul said without the incentives it could be as much as $1.3 million.
He said Best Buy owns the soon-to-be vacant property.
A commission, with a majority of members appointed by St. Louis County leaders, rejected the TIF proposal last month, but Ellisville’s council can override that decision with a supermajority vote.
Paul, who campaigned heavily against TIF, will be sworn in as Mayor at the city council meeting on Wednesday night.