Walmart vs. Property Tax

P.R.I.Z.E. does not and is not advocating the imposition of any property tax. P.R.I.Z.E. believes that the threat of a property tax is being raised by pro-Walmart supporters to scare rather than inform Creekers of the facts. The fact is, the Town Council cannot impose a property tax. Any property tax must be voted on and approved by the citizens, as was the case with Spur Cross.

Despite claims that a Cave Creek Walmart will negate the need for a property tax, the White Paper, the new economic model for the Town, recommends vigorously pursuing Walmart and the imposition of a property tax if the Town is to become financially solvent: “implementation of Town of Cave Creek property taxes” (White Paper pp. 34 #4, 41D); “increase the sources of sales tax revenue well beyond the development limitation of the Town Core or institute a property tax (or both). (WP p.5). The White Paper also states that “The forecasts in this report have been prepared on the basis of incorporating the recommendations submitted in this report.” (WP p. 34).

Again, P.R.I.Z.E. does not and is not advocating the imposition of any property tax. However, part of the pro-Walmart issue has included the fraudulent claim that the loss of a Walmart would equate to a $6,000 per household per year property tax. This figure includes fire, police and trash collection, none of which the town provides. Using the Security and Exchange Commission’s financial data, a property tax of merely $56 per month per household would negate any need for a Walmart. This SEC data is presented to inform the citizens on the issue. Please contact P.R.I.Z.E. for this SEC link.

The Walmart property is not located on the corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway. The land purchased by Walmart is located thirteen acres south of Carefree Highway on Cave Creek Road. P.R.I.Z.E. is not anti-Walmart. P.R.I.Z.E. feels that a big box retailer, as an anchor store, could be an asset to Cave Creek if located on Cave Creek’s 240-acres of already commercially-zoned land between 28th Street and 34th Street.

P.R.I.Z.E.’s objection to Walmart is that they are refusing to locate in the appropriately designated corridor. Walmart chose to purchase residentially-zoned land with the intent of obtaining an up-zoning from the Town Council. Walmart claims they do not build on leased land, which the 240-acres is, yet Walmart has, in fact, built on leased property in Arizona, Connecticut, California, Illinois, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania as well as other states. Walmart signed a 12-year lease at 838 W. Elliot Road in Gilbert.

P.R.I.Z.E. disputes the claims by some that the referendum is delaying sales tax revenue to the Town. The White Paper states the Town will not begin to receive any sales tax revenue from Walmart until 2011 (WP p. 43 #9), and that the Town will not receive maximum revenues until 2013. (WP p. 43, #9). The White Paper’s figures are based on an improving economy. Further, the new sewer plant will need to be operational before the town can provide sewer services to Walmart and the new sewer plant won’t be operational until 2011. (WP p. 15).

Any big box retailer on the residential land south of Carefree Highway on Cave Creek Road will create an infrastructure development cost to all Cave Creek citizens as water and sewer infrastructure is currently not in place. The town council had the right to address these issues before granting a rezoning, but chose to rezone without a site plan. Now the responsibility for paying for and providing this infrastructure could rest solely on the Cave Creek citizens.