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.