High-end dealership gets sweet deal to move to St. Louis

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 1 at 8:52 AM

Potential Mercedes dealership

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ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) --  A luxury car dealership may be getting a sweet deal from the City of St. Louis.

A Mercedes-Benz dealer is in line for more than $2 million dollars in tax increment financing to make the move from Ellisville to a location at Hampton and Oakland.

But does a business like this really need a tax break?

News 4 tracked down the chair of the TIF commission, David Newburger, and asked him why he and the entire commission agreed to cut the dealership a break.

He says while the deal to get the dealership out of West St. Louis County was substantial, it was an important one to move the city forward.

“I also understand that if the story was about a dealership moving out of the city that we wouldn’t hear anything about it, what this is, is a revitalization move,” Newburger said.

He also says the Benz dealership would have never made the move to the St. Louis unless they received the TIF.

In addition to restoring the blighted lot along Hampton Avenue, the business brings the added benefit of 60 jobs.

But the city doesn’t get a cent of the sales tax from car sales. That money goes to the city where the buyer lives.

The city will get a small percentage of taxes from parts and service and create something where nothing now exists.

“If it makes good sense for the city then we do it and every TIF applicant is going to say this is the only thing we can do,” Newburger said. “Sometimes we don’t believe them, sometimes we do.”

The TIF money for the Benz dealership does need final approval from the Board of Alderman.

 

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