Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Foley extends user fee for Tanger Outlets

By Guy Busby | AL.com Contributor on September 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM, updated September 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

FOLEY, Alabama -- Two years after being modified, a half-percent user fee is working well for the city and local outlet mall, according to Foley officials who approved extending the charge for another two years.

The Foley City Council voted Monday, Sept. 16, to extend the user fee for Tanger Outlets. The fee charges a half-cent on each dollar spent in addition to the 9 percent city, county and state sales taxes.

When the fee was first imposed in 2009, all of the money went to the mall to be used for marketing, improvements and incentives. The council approved the measure with the provision that the fee be reviewed and subject to renewal every two years.

The mall has put the money to good use, Mike Thompson, city administrator, told council members before the vote.

“When y’all started this thing, the occupancy was in the low to mid 80s (percent) there,” Thompson told council members. “It’s virtually 100 percent now, so this cooperative district fee is doing what you all were hoping that it would do. The tenant base that they have in there now is substantially better than the tenant base they had in there three or four years ago.”

Foley Mayor John Koniar said the improvements helped the mall bring in major retailers, such as T.J. Maxx.

In 2011, the council modified the fee. The change required 25 percent of the revenue to go to Foley to pay for street improvements and other work near the mall. Thompson said that money has paid for improvements on roads such as Juniper Street, located at the back of the mall.

“There is some benefit for us and for road infrastructure, not a lot,” Thompson said. “The majority of it goes to Tanger for their work in maintaining a good tenant base and occupancy rate and that kind of thing.”

In 2011, the council also approved a 1 percent fee for the Krispy Kreme doughnut store on Ala. 59 south of the mall. That fee is expected to generated about $100,000 over five years to compensate owners for some of the $700,000 cost of locating in Foley.

The Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival, presented by Tanger Outlets

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