City Asked For Incentive Money By Developer

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\FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - Incentive packages are nothing new when it comes to recruiting industry on the state or even city level.

But how do you fill about an incentive package to bring in a retail business?

Just after taking their oath of office, Florence City Councilmen were asked for just that.

In the city of Florence, economic development leaders say there has been tremendous growth in the area of retail business over the last few years.

With that growth, a new phenomenon is emerging, incentive packages that lure retail businesses to locate in a particular area.

Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock says it may be time for the city to look at putting a retail incentive policy in place.

“To be competitive, we may have to do something,” said Haddock. “But it’s something we really need to research and see what we need to do to encourage the folks to continue to look at Florence as a site to locate a retail business here.”

Mayor haddock says that the most common incentive package offered to businesses looking to locate in a city are tax abatements.

Although the city of Florence normally offers help with improving infrastructure needs, tax abatements are a new card economic leaders are holding.

“It’s pretty tough right now, I’m sure they are looking at every advantage they can get from their business but at the same time in the tough economic times, the city’s really have to look closely at the incentive package they can put together to,” explained Haddock.

The property developer has asked the city for one-point-five million dollars in incentive money, which Florence leaders say could be property tax credits.

State and local sales tax funds would not be affected in incentive packages.  

The retailer that the property developer is trying to bring to Florence is reportedly academy sports and outdoors.

The developer says the retailer may not come to Florence if an incentive package is not offered.

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