SHREWSBURY, MO (KMOX) – In a move catching many by surprise, Shrewsbury aldermen considered and approved tax breaks for Walmart last night by a 4 to 2 vote.
The special vote came two weeks ahead of the board of alderman’s regularly scheduled meeting but Mayor Felicity Buckley says there is no point in prolonging what has been a two-year battle.
“It really serves no purpose to separate it at this point because the community is fully aware of what’s going on and to separate it would simply be a gesture without any real meaning,” she said, adding that she doesn’t “feel the community is that split” but rather that those opposed to the tax increment financing (TIF) have been a very vocal minority.
Alderwoman Dee Weicher found herself alone, voting “no” on many parts of the deal.
“[Buckley]’s wrong. There’s a lot of people who are opposed to it who are not speaking up,” Weicher said. “I don’t like adding an additional sales tax that poor people have to pay.”
The $15 million in TIF money will direct some of the store’s property taxes back to developers. Aldermen also approved an additional sales tax that will go back to developers.
Weicher says, unlike Ellisville residents who are suing over Walmart tax breaks, she doesn’t see anything stopping the Shrewsbury Walmart TIF.