The Shoppes at Gunter’s Crossing
From the N&R:
GREENSBORO — As Guilford County faces another tough budget year, some county commissioners are questioning the effectiveness of a relatively new grant program designed to foster more growth in the local tax base.
The program, adopted in October, offers grants to businesses for the amount of county taxes it paid on any improvements to real property — a new construction or building expansion, for instance — for three years.
It was hoped the program would spur new construction and help small businesses improve and expand.
So far, however, only one property has applied for a grant: a shopping center already under construction in the 5800 block of North Church Street.
Last month Commissioners Vice-Chairman Steve Arnold, the policy’s author, found himself defending the program to his fellow commissioners. They said Granite Church Street, the company behind the shopping center, would have built it there anyway, regardless of the incentive program.
The developers are applying for a grant of $41,504 per year, or $124,512 over three years.
From Scott Yost at the Rhino Times, recently:
Last fall, Arnold managed to create and pass a wide-ranging economic incentives policy that allows businesses that add to the county’s tax base to be refunded any property tax paid on the added value for three years. However, as part of that process, the county is required to hold a public hearing and the commissioners must vote on the projects individually, and, at the March 4 meeting, the commissioners had their first such hearing regarding Arnold’s plan.
It’s illegal for the county to give tax rebates, so the county has to call the rebates “commercial investment grants,” and the first public hearing for the program was for a project by Granite Church Street LLC, which is constructing a shopping center on the 5800 block of North Church Street.
Last year, Gibson was a critic of Arnold’s incentives program because it didn’t address job growth directly, and Gibson said at the meeting that was why he would not support the move to grant the incentives.
“I did not support the policy before,” Gibson said. “My biggest concern is that it does not speak to jobs.”
Gibson added that the plan was meant to help small businesses, but that Granite Church Street was a large business.
“I don’t think you are a mom and pop business,” Gibson said to Chester Brown, who was making the presentation to the commissioners. Brown is with Brown Investment Properties.
Commissioner Billy Yow abstained from the vote because his well-drilling company has done work for Granite Church Street.
The motion passed on a 7-to-2 vote. Gibson and Commissioner Kirk Perkins voted against the motion.
Commissioner Mike Winstead was not at the meeting.
Page 2 of the document above indicates Greensboro City Councilman, Robbie Perkins, is a partner in Granite Church Street, LLC.