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Clanton Council to consider tax incentives for two coffee chains

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

The Clanton City Council is set to consider initial terms of a tax abatement for two established coffee chains to come to town.

A vote is expected at the Sept. 27 meeting at 5 p.m. at Clanton City Hall.

At a work session on Sept. 23, the council heard an update from Mayor Jeff Mims on negotiations for Starbucks and Ellianos to locate in different areas of town. He said he was excited about the projects.

Ellianos is an Italian-style coffee drive-thru that also serves breakfast food.

Rod Kanter, a lawyer specializing in public finance and economic development, of Bradley Arant gave an overview of the potential agreement with Starbucks, and the engineer project manager for the project, Todd Thompson of MTTR, was at the meeting.

Kanter said the agreement would split any non-educational sales tax, if performance thresholds are met.

“You take one half and you hand it back to them up to a dollar (amount) threshold, and that threshold is roughly 25% of the … public infrastructure costs,” Kanter said.

He said the agreement, which was negotiated by the mayor and Chief of Staff Bob Woods, would likely give the company three years to complete the build.

“These guys did negotiate a good deal,” Kanter said.

Public infrastructure for the Starbucks site would also benefit a second business location that is being discussed, but has not been announced.  This second business would operate within the usual tax structure.

“The infrastructure that we are talking about is access to the state highway, roads, sewer (and) water,” Thompson said.

The agreement would be for a set number of years with a dollar amount cap where the business would begin paying the full tax amount.

“It is a term limit,” Kanter said.

Just what that term will be is yet to be negotiated.