The start of the golden anniversary year for North Platte’s mall will coincide with the debut of the special “occupation tax” to help pay for its transformation into District 177.
The mall’s retail businesses will start collecting a 1.95% “enhanced employment tax” on top of state and local sales taxes on Saturday, said City Administrator Matthew Kibbon and Finance Director Dawn Miller.
That’s the effective date of the EEA ordinance that the City Council enacted June 1. It applies only to items that are subject to Nebraska sales taxes and sold within the 28-acre mall complex.
The EEA tax is part of a three-pronged, $16.63 million package in city help with Rev Development LLC’s $75 million conversion of the mall that opened April 12, 1972.
It’s meant to raise $7.51 million to help Rev owners Mike Works and Justin Hernandez recoup part of their project costs.
The special tax will last 20 years or until that $7.51 million has been fully collected, whichever comes first, Kibbon and Miller said. Future mall retail tenants will start collecting it immediately once they open.
Rev’s owners can recover another $8.12 million of the project’s infrastructure costs through tax increment financing. That will last 15 years or until that amount has been collected from District 177’s future property taxes, whichever comes first.
A two-stage, forgivable $1 million Quality Growth Fund loan for external work on the main 1972 mall building completes the aid package. Rev received the first $300,000 in August and will get the rest in May.
Mall businesses collecting the 1.95% EEA tax will send its proceeds to the city, Miller said.
Nebraska businesses send North Platte’s 5.5% state and 1.5% city sales tax collections to the Nebraska Department of Revenue. The state processes them and sends net local tax proceeds to the city about six weeks after each month ends.
The EEA tax applies to retail sales by businesses now clustered in the main mall’s north end; Ashley HomeStore and Golden Ticket Cinemas on the south end; and Verizon Wireless, Arby’s and Nebraskaland Tire & Service, all inside mall outbuildings.
North-end businesses eventually will move into the four-story apartment-commercial building now being built in front of the main mall. Work on it started in July.
Meanwhile, crews with Next Generation Construction have begun preparatory work for Nebraskaland Tire’s new store on the property’s south end, next to the north wall of neighboring North Platte Inn & Suites.
The south end of the once-cavernous mall parking lot has been torn out as well. Parking remains available next to the mall’s temporary north entrance, with Ashley and Golden Ticket sharing parking south of the main mall.
Conversion of the main mall space between Ashley and the Buckle also continues. Dunham’s Sports is slated for that slot.
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