By Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune reporter
Downers Grove is preparing to bring yet another luxury car dealership to town, luring the business with the village’s much-utilized sales-tax rebate agreement.
Gold Coast Exotic Imports, LLC, which operates a Bentley dealership at 330 Ogden Avenue, is primed to operate a Lamborghini dealership out of the same location, village officials said at the Dec. 17 council meeting. The company inked the same incentive deal for its Bentley dealership in December 2011.
As with the terms of the Bentley contract, Gold Coast agrees to operate its Lamborghini dealer for at least 15 years, with the rebate agreement in place for 10 years, according to village documents. The village will keep all sales tax generated by the first $5 million in sales. Beyond that $5 million, the village will rebate 50 percent of its share of sales tax to Gold Coast.
The Lamborghini dealer is projected to generate $8 million in taxable sales, and $40,000 in sales tax revenue each year for the village. The village has similar contracts in place with Napleton Aston Martin, Pugi and Packey Webb Ford, also all located on Ogden.
The Lamborghini deal is currently located in Westmont.
“These dealerships that have come to Ogden Avenue have had a tremendous impact on our local economy,” said Michael Cassa, president of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation. “They have generated substantial sales tax revenues, they have enhanced Ogden Avenue as a major commercial corridor, and these new dealership facilities have made the Ogden Avenue corridor more attractive.”
Village officials have said that these incentive agreements are key to enticing major dealerships to locate in Downers Grove instead of in nearby suburbs.
“People may be wondering why are we rebating 50 percent of sales tax,” Commissioner Sean P. Durkin said. “If we don’t do it, another community is going to do it. It’s pretty much how business is run today.”
Under the terms, the village also will withhold rebate payments for three months, meaning any rebates earned during the first quarter of the year would not be paid out until the third quarter. Should the dealer fail to comply with the contractual terms, the village will keep the withheld tax rebate.
Cassa said that Gold Coast is planning to open its Lamborghini dealership in March 2014. The council is scheduled to vote on the matter at its Jan. 7, 2014 meeting.