A 55-acre outlet store mall proposed for Chesterfield Valley got the OK from the Chesterfield City Council for a 1 percent sales tax hike on consumers once it opens.
The tax, levied under a Community Improvement District (CID) lets developers of St. Louis Premium Outlets leverage future tax gains toward $30 milllion to build the shopping complex.
After the vote, Chesterfield Blue Valley LLC developer Dean Wolfe, who owns the 188 acres of former farmland where the mall would be, said he was happy to conclude this step.
"It's an important element in our development," Wolfe told Chesterfield Patch.
The approval for the additional sales tax passed 6-1, with Councilman Barry Flachsbart voting no, saying he preferred a 5/8 percent sales tax instead of 1 percent.
"I'm not against a CID, I just think it's too much," Flachsbart said afterward.
Monday night's meeting had none of the raucus naysaying over the sales tax hike, like the public hearing two weeks ago.
However, an attorney for Taubman—a competing outlet mall developer—questioned claims by Premium Outlets developers over readiness to build, and whether they sought to condemn surrounding property in order to get drainage ditches through.
Then longtime resident Harvey Ferdman testified he didn't like the cost of doing business disguised as a sales tax, but that merchants should pay for it.
Also, Chesterfield's former mayor Nancy Greenwood sent a letter read aloud that expressed doubt over whether constituents really wanted more sales tax—and she decided "No."
While current Chesterfield Mayor Bruce Geiger does not vote, he encouraged councilmembers to support the tax measure, with a list of why, including:
- No city funds will be spent on the project
- No risk to the city
- The outlets will bring in $25-27 million a year in new revenue to the city when it's fully operational, in Phase 2
- It will provide $15 million in new revenue to schools, fire, and others in property tax revenue, during Phase 1
- Job creation for construction
- Job creation in retail sales
The measure passed with an amendment that puts the City of Chesterfield's top staff administrator on the board of the CID as a non-voting member.