City dangles $70K tax incentive to add Triumph franchise to Harley dealership site

Publish Date: 
May 14, 2013

ST. CHARLES, Ill. – Cities are anxious to bring in sales tax generators, and that worked to the advantage of Windy City Triumph this week when the City of St. Charles offered a $70,000 tax incentive to get the dealer to locate there.

City officials extended the offer after plans to lease the property to an RV dealership fell through.

Windy City Triumph reportedly plans to relocate to St. Charles by leasing 5,000 sq. ft. of a large dealership building that houses Fox River Harley-Davidson. The deal would be with Lone Star-Cardinal Motorcycle Ventures III, which owns Fox River H-D as well as Windy City Harley-Davidson and three other Harley stores in the Chicago area. State records show the Windy City Triumph name is registered but inactive.

Windy City Triumph said it expects to generate $18.5 million of sales in its first five years after coming to the city. Dealer representatives told city officials they could not afford to move to St. Charles, 45 miles west of Chicago, unless the dealership receives a tax incentive of up to $70,000. 

"It is a very large building, and it is currently underutilized," Chris Aiston, the city's economic development director, told the Daily Herald. "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 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 the dealer doesn't meet its sales projections.

Lone Star would agree to have the Triumph store open by Aug. 1, and keep it open in the city for 10 years. The deal also calls for the dealer to spend an estimated $26,000 on fixtures and furniture, $24,000 on signs and $15,000 on lighting to spruce up the new store, plus $5,000 on employee hiring and training.

The city council will take another vote before the agreement is finalized.

Posted by Holly Wagner