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Posted: 5:41 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, 2013
By Scott Wickersham
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A developer wants to bring premium outlets to Charlotte, but long before any stores open up, Tanger Outlets wants Charlotte to make a major purchase with local tax dollars. Tanger and Simon Property Group are trying to build Charlotte Premium Outlets in Steele Creek right next to Interstate 485. On Tuesday, they will ask county commissioners for a big tax refund in return for fixing up the roads in the area. The project could cost taxpayers $6 million. Tanger and Simon are asking for what is called a tax increment grant request – wanting a tax refund of 45 percent each year for 10 years. The deal would be capped at a $6 million payout. "It's an incentive to help pay for upgrades that are needed with a public/provate partnership," said Economic Development Director John Allen. Allen said the roads in the area need work anyway, so this is a way to make that happen sooner than it may have. It is similar to the deal with City Struck to bring Ikea to Charlotte, although growth in that shopping center is just starting years after Ikea opened up. Charlotte taxpayers are used to this by now. The Panthers wanted money for upgrades, as did Chiquita, and some said it is just the cost of doing business in a competitive market. However, one council member called this deal different. County Commission Chair Pat Cotham said she wants to create jobs and more revenue for the county, but has not decided where she stands on this grant just yet. That was a common reaction when Eyewitness News spoke to city and county leaders on Monday.
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