Robert Crist and Co. RV, operator of two RV dealerships in Mesa, Ariz., has been offered a $1.2 million sales tax incentive to cover the cost of relocating and expanding the two facilities, according to the East Valley Tribune, Mesa.
City officials extended the offer to keep the retailer from moving out of Mesa.
“We don’t go around doing these often, but this was a good opportunity to retain a very successful business,” said Scot Rigby, management assistant for the city’s Economic Development Department.
Robert Crist owns a dealership by the same name and Worldwide RV, both on East Main Street in Mesa. The company had considered moving them out of Mesa but now plans to relocate them farther east to a 60-acre property it owns. Half the property is planned for other office, commercial and industrial development.
“Main Street is a nice location, but there’s not nearly the traffic flow you get out at the freeway,” Rigby said.
Robert Crist’s president, Paul Skogebo, is a founder and chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealer Exchange Inc. (REDEX), an RV buying group with about 50 dealership members nationwide.
The council unanimously approved a development agreement at its Monday (Aug. 14) meeting that would keep the RV business in Mesa. Over the next 10 years, the city would reimburse all sales taxes that exceed the annual amount generated by the stores at their current locations.
Right now, the two Crist dealerships generate about $315,000 a year in sales taxes. Under the agreement, the company would be refunded any additional money – up to $1.2 million – above the annual $315,000 in tax revenue.
In order to maintain the deal, the company must keep at least two dealerships on the new site and cannot leave the location during the 10-year time span of the agreement.
As part of the deal, the company also must pay for road improvements near the new property and complete developer improvements by Dec. 31, 2008.
The relocation of the dealerships would add 40 RV jobs plus 500 to 600 other positions not related to RVs. In addition, it would pave the way for the development of a health service office near the new Banner Gateway Hospital.