Representatives from Hutton, a development group from Chattanooga, Tn., attended the Scottsboro City Council work session on Monday night to present a proposal for a tax rebate or sales tax sharing agreement for a potential fast food restaurant in Scottsboro.
The Hutton representative said there were two options the city could choose from to help facilitate the advancement of the project. The first option would be a single lump sum of $350,000.
The second option would be a sales tax sharing agreement over a period of four years. The staggered payments would amount to a $460,000 total over the four years. They said the restaurant is a projected $4 million annual sales producer.
The representatives said cities like Sylacauga, Albertville and Guntersville have done these types of agreements for shopping center developments. They said the stand-alone fast food restaurant would be the first phase of a bigger development.
They said there was potential to come back in front of the council with a second phase, which would be a larger scale project.
Scottsboro Mayor Robin Shelton said the city did this kind of agreement for the Dunham’s Sporting Goods shopping center development. City attorney Stephen Kennamer said the town of Section did one of these agreements for the new Jack’s restaurant in the town.
Owner of Captain D’s in Scottsboro Robbie Copenhaver said he would have a problem with the council giving money to the development when other restaurants in Scottsboro “haven’t been given a dime.”
He said he did not think it was fair to the other restaurants that have paid a great deal of sales tax to the city and have supported the community for several years.
Copenhaver has been in the restaurant business for 42 years. He said anyone can project how much money they will make, and he has seen several people project a number and never meet that number.
Council President Patrick Stewart said he is apprehensive to give a tax incentive to a restaurant when they have not done that for a restaurant before.
He said the council would need to know what the second phase of the project would be. Stewart said there were more questions to be asked and that the council would not react right away. He would like to put the issue on another work session agenda so the council can discuss it further.