$12 million tax break proposed for new Fort Worth Walmart project

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on February 13, 2014 at 11:37 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 14 at 12:41 AM

FORT WORTH -- The Fort Worth City Council is mulling over a proposal that would give Walmart up to $12 million in tax breaks for work related to the opening of a new superstore along Golden Triangle Boulevard.

The incentive would come over 20 years in exchange for the corporate giant completing part of Park Vista Boulevard near the new store's site.

Council members got a first look at the broader proposal on Tuesday.

Councilman Dennis Shingleton, who represents the northern district near the Fort Worth and Keller border, acknowledged the figure may sound like a lot, but said overall the tax break is worth it.

"We've got to get a road in there for safety reasons," he said. "In the end, this will be better for the city."

But some neighbors who live directly near the proposed site, about a half-mile east along Golden Triangle from the intersection with North Beach Street, say there are already plenty of Walmarts in the area.

"Within five miles, we have three. What do we need another one for?" Janelle Hastings said.

Currently, Walmart operates stores just a few minutes away off North Beach Street and Rufe Snow Drive.

There also are additional stores on North Tarrant Parkway and West Southlake Boulevard, and one in Roanoke.  That makes for five other Walmart stores within about eight miles of the new site.

Walmart spokeswoman Anne Hatfield said there is a demand in the growing area, and that the tax deal is only related to the road project.  She says that may cost as much as $12 million. 

"We’re responding to a need. This is a good thing for the city...our supercenter stores can offer more than 300 new jobs,” she said by phone.

Council members should vote on the tax break proposal within the next few weeks.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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