Candidate has concerns about planned market
Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/25/2010 05:55:53 PM PDT

GRAND TERRACE – A City Council candidate is questioning the revenue projections of a proposed Stater Bros., arguing that the city will ultimately pay more in economic inducements to the supermarket chain than it will gain in tax revenue.

Jack Brown, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Stater Bros. Markets, said the city will generate nearly $800,000 annually in sales tax revenue.

Sylvia Robles said she had seen no evidence of this in a report prepared by Grand Terrace city staff, on which the city will base its decision.

“There is no new sales tax revenues of $800,000,” she wrote. “My preliminary numbers indicate a rounded up $700,000 deficit over five years between GT inducements and new revenues.”

Robles said the city will ultimately lose money on the project.

The staff report anticipates the store will contribute property tax revenues of $35,000 per year to the city’s general fund and $70,000 per year to the Redevelopment Agency, as well as increase sales tax revenue 22percent compared to the existing, smaller Stater Bros. in Grand Terrace.

Sales tax revenue from individual businesses is confidential information that a city may not disclose, according to City Manager Betsy Adams.

The total revenue for all Grand Terrace businesses for fiscal year 2010-11 is $784,500, she said.

Brown declined to break down the source of his $800,000 estimate.

“I don’t intend to allow someone who’s running for office to use Stater Bros. for their own purposes,” he said. “I have several stores that bring in excess of $800,000 in sales taxes.”

Brown clarified that he meant all local, county and state sales tax generated by his store. Of the 8.75 cents taken from every dollar as sales tax in Grand Terrace, 1.25 cents will go directly to Grand Terrace’s fund, according to the California Board of Equalization.

Robles said Brown called her with the mistaken impression she doubted his number.

“I told him the staff report numbers, you know, and I told him again I don’t have your $800,000,” she said. “I told him I recognize he’s a local major employer and there’s benefits of jobs historically, but we’re at an impasse on the incentives he’s getting from the city.”

To read entire story, click here.