Buc-ee's Athens gets tax breaks as part of multimillion dollar investment in Limestone

Photo of a Buc-ee's location from the company's website

Buc-ee's Athens will be located at the intersection at Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road and Interstate 65.

Posted: Dec 3, 2020 4:40 PM

This information was provided by the city of Athens:

Buc-ee's will reap the benefits of tax breaks when it comes to Limestone County.

Buc-ee's Athens will be located at the intersection at Huntsville-Browns Ferry Road and Interstate 65.

That interchange is getting a $27 million renovation right now because of the nearby Mazda Toyota plant.

The store will bring about 170 new jobs. The $35 million investment on 25 acres will bring about 53,000 square feet of retail space as well as more than 100 gas pumps.

Buc-ee's is doing geotechnical testing and various environmental studies. The company would like to start construction in the middle part of 2021. Construction could take about a year.

The Athens City Council also voted to annex into the city about 30 acres of property owned by Red Stick Partners, located east of the planned Buc-ee's site, which is already in the city limits. The city expects more retail development there.

"Buc-ee's is a huge retail economic development project for us that opens up more retail development in that area," Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said. "Forty percent of our city budget is comprised of sales tax, so this is a major win for Athens."

In an agreement with the city of Athens, Buc-ee's will pay $3.5 million to help cover the costs of designing, developing and constructing sewer and infrastructure, plus give $35,000 per year to the city for community groups, activities and programs for 20 years after Buc-ee's Athens opens.

The city would then reimburse the $3.5 million by first giving back 100 percent of the city's 3-cent sales tax generated by Buc-ee's Athens and 100 percent of the 1-cent motor fuel tax received from the center until two-thirds of the full amount is paid back.

After that, the amount drops to one-third of the 3-cent sales tax and 100 percent of the 1-cent motor fuel tax received from Buc-ee's Athens, and the city has 20 years to reach the full amount.

Limestone County Commission approved an incentive to give one-third of the gas tax revenue generated each contract year by Buc-ee's Athens, up to $180,000 per year, for up to 10 years, as long as Buc-ee's Athens met certain benchmarks in fuel sales.

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