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Incentive program spurs new development in downtown Hannibal

An incentive program is spurring new development in downtown Hannibal.

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Dobson is the alderman for the 2nd Ward which includes the historic district. He knows how vital the area is to the entire city.

“The historic business people,” said Dobson. “They’re active. You see something going on almost every weekend in Hannibal.”

Which is why he and other city leaders are happy about a new cooperative development agreement between Hannibal and B&B theaters.

The agreement sets up a baseline number of sales tax dollars the company has to generate. Anything above that, the city and the business split it evenly.

“If they fall below any of those things for any reason in any one given year, obviously there is a clawback provision which requires them to make the city whole,” said Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council director Corey Mehaffy.

The theater is also re-investing close to $2 million into the city by upgrading equipment and theater seats as part of the agreement. The business also must employ 7 full time equivalent positions.

Mehaffy said they’re always looking to set up more agreements with other businesses.

“Business attraction and business retention are very competitive,” said Mehaffy. “So these are tools that are sometimes used to partner with private companies to preserve jobs or create new jobs and create new investment into the community and of course in this case create new tax dollars in the community as well.”

Dobson tells me more agreements would only benefit the community.

“We love to see new businesses come to town but then we also support existing businesses expanding and this is a prime example,” said Dobson.

Officials said the agreement requires the theater to generate a baseline of $1.34 million in taxable sales. They said the city’s sales tax levy is 2.5%.

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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