Westlake Shopping Center May See Sales Tax Increase

Westlake Shopping Center May See Sales Tax Increase

Council to vote on increase Tuesday.
PEORIA - Trips to the Westlake Shopping Center could soon cost you more.

The Peoria City Council will discuss a proposal tomorrow night to raise the sales tax at the stores in the complex.

 If approved,that extra money could show up on receipts as soon as August.

 We’re told a .75 percent sales tax increase would be added to all retail and restaurant items within the shopping center.

So everything from a burger at five guys to a stereo at guitar center would cost just a little bit extra.
This would not include services- like guitar lessons. And in case you are wondering, Panera is included in the deal.

“It will either go to, uh, the parking lot on the North. Very similar to what you see here on the South,” said Attorney for Cohen Development Bob Hall.

Stores in the Westlake shopping center were using property tax to pay for the development and maintenance of the south parking lot. But with a new North parking lot in the works, tenants are feeling squeezed.

“Add on top of that the additional real estate tax that has been paid for the maintenance and the initial construction of this, it's just becoming a little too much.”

In initial 2010 deal allowed the City to loan out money to Cohen Development in order to improve the conditions of the center, which included a new parking lot and maintenance.

Under the deal, Cohen Development would pay the money back through property tax. But with new additions and a swiftly growing Westlake Shopping Center, that isn’t enough.

They hope a hike of the retail and restaurant sales tax will soften the financial burden.
Hall tells us he doesn't believe this will affect the flow of customers to the center.

 “The ones that you probably you would expect to be hit the most are the ones that are the largest, but those largest ones have that have the least per unit sale.”

Shoppers we talked to were mixed about the increase.

Hall thinks the amendment will pass. But says the tenants will have to look for money elsewhere if it doesn’t.

We're told that the amendment would have no financial impact on the city. City Council will go to vote on Tuesday night.
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