By Blake Herzog
The Town of Prescott Valley has adopted two ordinances intended to attract grocery stores to fast-growing areas of the community as well as higher-paying jobs through certain projects via construction sales tax rebates.
Approved by the Town Council in August, the new policies come after years of failed efforts to land a full-scale supermarket for Viewpoint, Pronghorn Ranch and other neighborhoods north of AZ-89A, which are about 10 to 15 minutes away from Walmart on Glassford Hill Road, the northernmost supermarket in town.
Separately, the council has set a goal of increasing the number of households earning at or above the median income by 5% in the next five years.
Under state statutes cities and towns can offer incentives to enhance their “economic welfare” by encouraging new businesses to build in the community, according to a Town staff report. Prescott Valley taxes all construction activity at a 2.83% rate, determined by the value of the project minus a 35% deduction. Companies that build either a supermarket within the opportunity zones or projects that promote higher-paying jobs anywhere in the town can qualify for a rebate of this money.
Areas along AZ-89A and Fain Road on the north end of town, on the west side of Fain at Lakeshore Drive and Quailwood and the surrounding area in the southeast corner of the town are the three supermarket opportunity zones adopted by the council.
Retail and nonretail businesses moving into Prescott Valley and creating at least 10 new jobs paying within 10% of the median household income also would be able to qualify for these construction tax rebates.
The money refunded to the companies could only be used for specific purposes: Supermarkets can put the money toward landscaping, beautification and “innovative sustainable development” such as solar, wind or hydraulic energy.
Other firms bringing higher-paying jobs can use it toward employee relocation, beautification along AZ-69 and other arterial roads, internships, job training, public infrastructure or innovative sustainable development.