Reporting Ian Schwartz
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento city planners say they may lift the ban on certain big-box stores in hopes of cashing in on tax dollars that have been going to other communities.
Sacramento, which doesn’t allow big chains like Walmart within city limits, say the retail giant can bring in up to $1 million in tax revenue each year.
“That could by a lot of cops, a lot of firefighters and a lot of park maintenance,” said Sacramento city planner Scot Mende.
Big-box stores have been banned in Sacramento since 2005, and Mende says that has cost the city much needed tax revenue.
“What we want to do is send the message that the city can be business reasonable,” he said.
Residents in east Sacramento and midtown fear big-box stores would drive out small business. So city leaders have made it more difficult to open up the big stores in these neighborhoods, which pleases residents.
“It allows us to study the negative and positive impacts of a big-box store,” said Michael Murphy, Marshall School Neighborhood Association.
But neighborhoods outside of midtown could see new big-box stores popping up.
Some development has started south of Meadow View and Interstate 5. City planners say this could be a prime spot for a new big-box store. And some home owners say they would like a huge new store in their neighborhood.
“It would be better because we are shopping far away from here,” said one resident.
But the owners of a smaller mom and pop store say they fear new big-box stores could run them out of business.
“They always have low prices. Our prices wouldn’t even matter. Everyone will just go to Walmart knowing that they have low prices or Target will always have low prices,” said small business owner Umar Aslam.
The plan to change the big-box ordinance will go before city council in a couple of weeks.
Big-box stores are watching Sacramento’s moves. Walmart says they know of the possible ban change, but say there are no immediate plans to build a new Sacramento store.