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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Council accepts hotel project’s tax proposal

  • The city of Hannibal has agreed in principle to participate in a sales tax rebate agreement that was presented to the City Council Tuesday night by SZC Hotels & Development, which plans to build a “middle/upper scale hotel” west of Fiddlestiks restaurant in western Hannibal.
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  • The city of Hannibal has agreed in principle to participate in a sales tax rebate agreement that was presented to the City Council Tuesday night by SZC Hotels & Development, which plans to build a “middle/upper scale hotel” west of Fiddlestiks restaurant in western Hannibal.
    In addition to the 34,000 square foot Sleep-In Hotel, developers also plan to build a 450-foot segment of an access road that will ultimately connect with the city’s industrial park.
    According to a memo to the Council, construction and infrastructure costs will amount to $346,000. The cost of the access road is estimated at $351,000.
    To help developers recoup their hotel infrastructure costs, a request was made to establish a community improvement district (CID) that would include only the new hotel. The CID would feature a special 1 percent sales tax, plus a 50-cent tax per room. It is estimated the total CID tax would generate $348,500 in revenue over 15 years.
    The city has been asked to rebate 1.5 percent of its 2.25 percent sales tax that applies in that area.
    Combined, the total cost of the hotel and access road - $697,000 – would be covered in 15 years. However, developers pledged that if $697,000 is reached earlier than 15 years, the special “economic tools” would end.
    A CID is created by filing a petition with the city. Once the petition is filed, the city will be required to hold a public hearing. The creation of the CID would then require the passage of an ordinance by the City Council.
    The only concerns raised during discussion of the matter came from Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Knickerbocker, who noted he thought the concept is “a good idea.” Knickerbocker’s reservations centered on the possibility the city could take a massive financial hit in September if the Missouri Legislature overrides a handful of Gov. Jay Nixon vetoes made to bills giving special sales tax breaks.
    “One concern I have is the potential huge hit in revenue of $850,000 in a few weeks,” he said. “It’s an unknown at this point.”
    Gary Zimmer, speaking in behalf of SZC, noted that without the hotel the city would see “zero income” from sales tax and property tax revenue that the development would generate.
    Mayor Roy Hark noted that the proposed road would benefit the business park and the hotel’s 67 rooms would be an asset.
    Gail Bryant, director of the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Council she is excited about the prospect of another hotel being built in the city, noting that tourism numbers in Hannibal are up.
    When the measure came up for a vote it was approved by the six members of the Council in attendance, including Knickerbocker.
    Page 2 of 2 - Zimmer said it is hoped the new hotel will be open for business in April of 2015.

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