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updated: 5/13/2013 11:17 PM

St. Charles agrees to tax refund for motorcycle business

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A new business expecting to generate $18.5 million of sales in its first five years in St. Charles has told city officials it can't afford to relocate to the city unless it receives a tax incentive of up to $70,000.

The city obliged.

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Representatives from motorcycle dealer Windy City Triumph want to relocate to St. Charles by leasing an unused portion of the Fox River Harley-Davidson building at 131 S. Randall Road. That's the same location US Adventure RV hoped to relocate to when it secured a tax incentive from aldermen back in January.

The leasing agreement fell through on that deal, nullifying the agreement to kick back $250,000 of sales taxes to the business. The company estimated it would generate $45 million in sales in its first five years in the city. The RV dealership is still looking for a place in St. Charles, city officials said.

Chris Aiston, the city's economic development director, said the incentive agreement with Windy City Triumph will serve as a nice plan B.

"It is a very large building, and it is currently underutilized," Aiston said. "With $18 million in sales in the first five years, that's about $140,000 of sales tax. This is a nice fallback for that location. We feel it is well worth the reimbursement."

The deal would kick back about half of that $140,000. The agreement calls for a reimbursement of half of the sales taxes Windy City Triumph generates, with a maximum incentive payout of $70,000. That total will be less if Windy City Triumph doesn't meet its sales estimates.

St. Charles aldermen approved the deal without any "no" votes. Alderman Maureen Lewis was absent.

The full city council will take another vote before the agreement is locked in, but Alderman Dan Stellato summed up the favorable opinion of the deal.

"This is very similar to what we did with the Sears (appliance store) deal," Stellato said. "We only make money if they make money."

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