Despite pleas from area lawmakers and residents, Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher apparently didn’t put tax incentives for a Cabela’s store on the agenda for a special legislative session slated to end this week.
The Franklin Favorite reported that developer David Garvin is trying to lure Cabela’s – the nation’s largest outdoor outfitter – to his nearly 1,000-acre recreational vehicle park outside of Franklin.
Garvin said Cabela’s would make a $50 million investment, would employ around 500, would attract millions of visitors to Kentucky each year and would generate $20 million annually in state tax revenue from spinoff businesses.
“Any company that can do that deserves incentives…it (Cabela’s) would have a large impact on this area and the state,” Garvin said.
The incentives for Cabela’s had the support of leaders in both houses of the General Assembly, according to area legislators. House Speaker Jody Richards said last Wednesday that he would do all he could to get the incentives package passed.
The Senate agreed to offer Cabela’s tax incentives during the last regular session earlier this year, but the House allowed the bill to die. Several other incentive packages for economic development projects were tacked on to the Cabela’s bill, and House members didn’t have enough time in the regular session to sift through them, according to Rep. Rob Wilkey (D-Scottsville).
According to the Favorite, the same thing happened in the special session as numerous other economic development projects filled the agenda.
Garvin hasn’t given up hope and plans to offer Cabela’s a choice of sites in his park, which is located off Ky. 100 near the I-65 interchange. Rep. Wilkey said Cabela’s representatives are scheduled to visit Franklin soon.
The newspaper also reported that outdoor lifestyle retailer Gander Mountain, which has a store in Kentucky and claims it wants to build four to six more stores in the state, has opposed the Cabela’s project from the start.