New Madison Chick-Fil-A forced to charge development fee


MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – If you often travel down Highway 72 in Madison, you likely know that Chick-Fil-A location is prone to traffic back-ups.

Tuesday, the store relocated to its new location in the Clift Farm community, just a mile down Highway 72 from the old location.

But with the move comes an added cost. Because the restaurant is located in the Clift Farm community, Chick-Fil-A is required to pass on a 3% development fee to its customers. The revenue from that fee goes to Breland Companies, the developers of the Clift Farm community.

Signs at the cash registers inside the new Chick-Fil-A location inform customers about the fee. The signs explain that the fee is part of an operating agreement that Breland Companies has with all of the businesses that operate in the community. The only businesses in Clift Farm that doesn’t charge the fee is Publix. Joey Ceci with Breland Companies says that’s because Publix had already signed on as the flagship retailer at the development before the fee was proposed.

While traffic moved smoothly at the new location Tuesday, some customers were unaware of the extra fee. Others, like Joseph Dorning, said the fee was a small price to pay to avoid the traffic nightmare caused by the previous location.

Breland Companies says they are charging the 3% development fee to generate revenue that is lost because the development is in unincorporated Madison County. Because Clift Farm is not in either Huntsville or Madison city limits, businesses inside the community do not charge city sales tax. Breland Companies says because of that, they were forced to bear the cost for many infrastructure projects that would have been funded by city sales tax had they been incorporated into either Huntsville or Madison.

So, what’s the difference in what you’ll pay at the new location versus the old location?

At the old location inside Madison city limits, you would pay:

City Sales TaxCounty Sales TaxState Sales TaxFeeTotal
Sales Taxes collected inside Madison City limits

At the new location inside Clift Farm, which is in unincorporated Madison County, you’ll pay:

City Sales TaxCounty Sales TaxState Sales TaxFeeTotal
Sales Taxes and development fee collected inside Clift Farm community

So, you’ll actually pay .5% less in total taxes and fees at the new location. The difference is that 3% of the taxes/fees you pay at the new location will go directly to Breland Companies, and not to your local government.

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