East Dundee is going to be just fine if Walmart makes good on its promise to leave the village for neighboring Carpentersville, an East Dundee official said Friday.
This week the East Dundee village board approved an annexation agreement with G.A.T. Guns that brings the business and the money it generates into the village. And if things go as well as predicted, that money will more than make up for the $850,000 in non-property tax monies Walmart sends to the village every year, Village Administrator Bob Skurla said.
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If East Dundee had annexed G.A.T. Guns into the village a year earlier, it would have been looking at $360,000 in various revenues from the business, Skurla said.
But with the business's plans to add 39 ranges to the 24 it already has, that number should more than double in the first year, Skurla said.
There are also new taxes that will come into play at G.A.T. Guns, such as a 5 percent amusement tax, a 1.5 percent home rule tax and a 1 percent registered retailers occupation tax.
By the second year, Skurla expects revenue to reach $1 million, a number that supersedes what Walmart has generated.
"Would we like Walmart to stay and prosper? Absolutely," Skurla said. " ... But if they have to leave, I don't think our general fund is going to be hurting that badly."
Ever since Walmart announced plans to leave the village six years ago, East Dundee has been preparing for its departure by working to attract other retailers in town and widening its boundaries to include other businesses, like it did with G.A.T. Guns.
In exchange for G.A.T. Guns agreeing to come into East Dundee, the village created a tax increment finance district for the business and will issue a $5.5 million TIF revenue bond. This sort of bond would use money from within the TIF district for improvements G.A.T. Guns owners intend to make to the business.
Those upgrades include a new ventilation system, adding the additional ranges, building a larger parking lot, widening its showroom and buying 1,000 more guns -- there are 6,500 guns already in stock now, said Greg Tropino Jr., who owns the business with his father.
"We're on schedule to be the largest commercial indoor gun range and store in the country," Tropino said.
Business has been growing between 20 and 35 percent a year and the partnership with East Dundee is a win for both parties, because it will help G.A.T. Guns accommodate its growth and help the village secure needed tax dollars, Tropino said.
G.A.T. stands for "guns, ammo, training." The company has been around since 1979 and in its current location since 1988. The renovations should be completed by February, Tropino said.