Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is seeking a 40 percent gas tax rebate to offset $2 million in infrastructure costs.
The proposed rebate will be reviewed by the Joliet City Council Economic Development Committee when it meets at 5 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.
The rebate would pay Love’s anticipated $2 million cost of extending city water and sewer to the site, according to a staff memo on the rebate.
Love’s wants to build a truck stop and travel center at the Briggs Street interchange with Interstate 80.
The project faces strong opposition from local residents but is recommended by city staff.
Paying for the cost of water and sewer is “the only purpose” of the rebate, said attorney Michael Hansen, who represents Love’s.
The extension of water and sewer will open up more land for development beyond the 11-acre Love’s site, according to the staff memo.
“That’s why we requested the rebate, and that’s why city staff is recommending approval of it,” Hansen said.
The proposed 40 percent rebate on gas taxes would be good for $2 million or 10 years – whichever comes first. Staff estimates the water and sewer costs will be paid off in four years based on Love’s projected sales.
According to the staff memo, Love’s expects to sell 15 million gallons of fuel a year. Staff estimates that will lead to $1.25 million in annual gas taxes. Of that, nearly $500,000 a year would go to Love’s and nearly $750,000 would go to the city while the rebate is in effect.
Love’s also would generate $112,500 in sales taxes from food service, $82,500 in taxes from merchandise sales and $27,500 from tire sales, according to the staff memo.
The travel center would include a full-service truck stop, automobile gas station, two restaurants and a tire shop.
Love’s has projected the travel center would attract 600 trucks and 2,400 cars a day.
Love’s expects to employ 60 to 70 people at the travel center when it opens and create more than 100 construction jobs.
The City Council is expected to vote Oct. 2 on a plan to annex the site.