Housing Complex

Some Supermarkets Are Getting Sweet Deals


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Last week, we took a look at the Supermarket Tax Credit, which was supposed to incentivize grocery stores to locate in underserved areas. Walmart isn't asking for the break, even though three of its planned six stores would qualify. An astute commenter noticed that the District's newest Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom would also qualify, likely due to the large population of students, who don't themselves make that much money (but who often have a lot of it at their disposal). Are they claiming the break on personal and real property taxes, as well as the sales tax on construction materials, which could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year?

They're not, according to a list provided by the Office of Tax and Revenue. No Whole Foods in the District are. But Safeway is claiming a lot of them: Nine out of fifteen stores are either receiving the exemption or have applied for it. And there are a couple of strange ones in there: Locations at Corcoran Street and at 17th and Columbia have received the exemption, despite the fact that they no longer fall within the incentive zone, and were both built long before the program was instituted (full map above, also here). Yellow = Harris Teeter, Green = Safeway, Pink = Yes! Organic, Blue = Giant.

Seems like this is a tax incentive that could use some tweaking.

  • http://distcurm.blogspot.com/ IMGoph

    So Safeway is claiming a tax exemption for a store that doesn't exist anymore?

    (514 Rhode Island Avenue NE)

  • Mrs. D

    Was gonna comment on that, too, Goph. I hope to hell that list is out of date, because Safeway's already on my list (for terrible products & service) and if they're taking a credit for a closed store, they're going straight to the top of my list.

  • Skipper

    OTR not knowing what the law actually is? Shocker!

  • 18th St Biz

    @IMGoph,

    Great point!

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  • 18th St Biz

    I watched the hearing and was appalled at Councilman Wells' gall to introduce a bill that will give Safeway on the Waterfront, a tax exemption on its, (1) Real Property, (2) Personal Property (3) Sales Taxes (2) Construction materials.

    Lyida didn't mention that during the hearing representatives from 18th St and H St businesses were upset with the fact that Councilman Wells wants to give a multi-million dollar corporation millions in tax breaks, but refuses to provide any help for the businesses that are being harmed by the on-going construction in Adams Morgan.

    My advise to the business owners is, when its election time show your discontent with your voice and vote and let your customers know their councilmember is more concerned about profits for 1% than the well being of constituents.

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