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RV company seeks tax break from STC

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

ST. CHARLES – A company specializing in upscale recreational vehicles is asking the city for a tax break should it relocate to St. Charles.

Economic Development Director Chris Aiston on Monday told the Planning and Development Committee it would be great to have a business such as US Adventure RV in the city. In addition to generating business and bolstering existing businesses, he said, the RV company would make use of an underused building.

“This is our shot at it now,” Aiston said.

The Iowa-based company is considering leasing about 8,000 square feet of the Fox River Harley-Davidson building at 131 S. Randall Road.

It operates a satellite location in Joliet, and moving to St. Charles would bring the company closer to its customers in the northwest suburbs, company President John Dresselhaus said.

Moving costs are estimated at $590,000. US Adventure RV has asked St. Charles to reimburse a portion of anticipated sales tax revenues not to exceed $250,000 or for a period of six years, whichever happens first.

Seventy-five percent of the municipal sales tax would be reimbursed in year one, 70 percent in year two, 65 percent in year three, 60 percent in year four and 50 percent in years five and six, if necessary. The city then would retain all sales tax.

“In either case, it’s new money,” Aiston said. “The reimbursement seems fair.”

Within five years, the St. Charles store expects to employ 21 people with a total payroll of more than $3.5 million, Aiston said. Also in that time, the store is estimated to generate about $45 million in total sales, including vehicle sales and rentals, parts sales and vehicle service.

“That’s an awful lot of sales tax,” he said.

In return, the company must operate in St. Charles for 10 years. Failure to do so would result in the company having to repay the money.

The committee unanimously recommended that the City Council direct staff to draft an economic development incentive agreement with US Adventure RV. Several aldermen, however, said they wanted information on topics such as sewage costs and the company’s finances.

“I don’t have enough information here,” 4th Ward Alderman Jim Martin said, referencing literature distributed at the meeting.

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