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Publish Date: 8/26/2005

Firestone OKs incentives for furniture store
Warehouse will get back 75 percent of sales taxes


FIRESTONE — American Furniture Warehouse will get back 75 percent of sales taxes collected at a proposed store and any other businesses on a 132-acre site near Interstate 25 to pay for roads, sewer, water and other infrastructure.

The Firestone Board of Trustees unanimously approved the tax reimbursement Thursday night as an incentive for American Furniture, which bought the land at the northeast corner of Firestone Boulevard and I-25 in November.

The tax break will last for 15 years, until the company finishes the improvements or until it reaches a cap of $11 million.

“Honestly, we think it will be a lot less,” Firestone Mayor Mike Simone said of the $11 million cap, which is also a liberal estimate of the infrastructure costs.

Firestone has a 3 percent sales tax and no tax on food.

Despite the loss of tax revenue for the town, Simone said the incentive is a good deal for Firestone. A recent shopping survey done for the town showed that 75 percent of shoppers at Safeway in Firestone didn’t live in Firestone. That means the majority of sales tax Firestone collects there isn’t coming from its citizens, he said.

Town officials believes the number of out-of-town shoppers will be even higher at the American Warehouse site near I-25.

Therefore, the town’s 25 percent share of taxes on the American Furniture site should easily cover the actual return for Firestone citizens, Simone said.

“The money we are paying back isn’t coming from Firestone citizens,” he said, speaking in relative terms.

Shoppers from up and down the I-25 corridor will pay the bill, Simone added.

Firestone town administrator Cheri Andersen said the 15-year timeframe on the tax incentive also encourages the company to develop the land and not just sit on it.

American Furniture has submitted plans to Firestone to build a 510,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse on the site. The plan still needs approval by the town board.

The company also wants to develop 90 acres of the land for other retail commercial use.

Firestone’s planner, Bruce Nickerson, said the project fits the town’s vision to set up commercial development near I-25 to pull in sales tax dollars from regional shoppers as a base for the town.

Douglas Crowl can be reached at 303-684-5253, or by e-mail at dcrowl@times-call.com.

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