Summarized by Gregor McHardy
Tax Break to ZCMI yields Lawsuit (Developer Claims Orem Misused Taxes)
Salt Lake Tribune 9Sep99 L8
By Phil Sahm: Salt Lake Tribune
Although the recent rumor of the sale of the church-owned ZCMI department
store chain may get you wondering if ZCMI will be around much longer, the
city of Orem, Utah is counting on them being there for a good long time.
The city has invested over $2 million in city tax dollars to refurbish the
store that helps anchor the University Mall as an incentive to keep it
from moving to a new mall in neighboring Provo. Even more money has been
promised for the future.
Of course the bitter rivalry between the two cities over revenue has
erupted in a court battle. Provo lawyers contend that Orem violated the
"Neighborhood Development Act," a Utah statute that helps to ensure that
cities do not give away general tax-fund revenues without proper review.
For years ZCMI has been the leading sales-tax revenue producer in Orem,
surpassed only recently by R.C. Willey and Wal Mart, and is still one
of the city's top 10 employers. Orem is banking on ZCMI's remaining in
business, seeing it not only as a cash cow for the community, but also a
store that provides clothing for a local market better than places like
Panneys and Mervyns.