Proposed Tax Exemption for Walmart | VideoJessica Roose | 7/11/2012
Right now it`s an empty lot, but by next year it will look more like the busy parking lot in Bismarck when Mandan`s first Walmart Supercenter opens. Walmart officials met with city leaders to discuss what the store will bring to the city.
"This store will have around 250 new jobs with the majority of those jobs being full time jobs. Currently our average wage in the state of North Dakota is $12.82 per/hr," said Ryan Irsik with Walmart Public Relations.
Before Walmart breaks ground on the 150,000 square foot store, they are asking for a huge tax incentive, that no other Walmart in the state has received.
"The exemption that we`re seeking is a five year exemption, graduated going down. A 100 percent exemption for the first two years. Seventy-five percent in year three, 50-percent in year four and 25 percent in year five," said Jeffrey Nelson, an attorney representing Walmart.
Members of the committee agreed with with Walmart and voted unanimously in favor of the store.
But some members of the community don`t think it`s fair that the national chain receive the exemption.
"We do not need to start doing it. Walmart has been successful without having to give away our public tax dollars. Especially when the city is deciding to give away tax dollars that affect the schools, the county and the parks that also receive property taxes," said Mandan resident Susan Beehler.
Beehler and others will have the opportunity to voice their concerns one last time next month at a public hearing before the final decision is made.
Construction is scheduled to start at the end of August, and they hope to be open in a little over a year.