Wal-Mart's Tax Revenue

Alcoa, Blount County (WVLT) - A new retailer in Maryville will be opening in just weeks and Alcoa officials fear it could have a big impact on sales tax revenue by pulling customers from their largest store.

Volunteer TV's Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb tells you what is coming to Maryville that Alcoa is worried about.

With approximately 8,500 people, Alcoa depends heavily on its retail sector for tax revenue, one in particular.

"Walmart is by far the largest sales tax producer of any single retail outlet we've got," says Mark Johnson, Alcoa City Manager.

Many of neighboring Maryville's 27,000 residents use the Alcoa Wal-Mart since it's the closest one. But a major retailer is coming to Maryville which could have a large impact on the Alcoa Wal-Mart and the city it operates.

"I think we're probably going to lose somewhere in the $400,000 range in tax revenue," Johnson says.

And that retailer is, Wal-Mart.

"We can't give exact numbers but we know it will be good," says Maryville Vice Mayor Tom Taylor. Maryville officials believe it will keep it's citizens shopping at home and bring in much more tax revenue. "It's a major impact on the city."

The new Wal-Mart is state of the art and an all new design.

Workers there are doing everything they can to be ready for a grand opening in three weeks.

"For our grand opening we'll have some bands. We'll do a little celebration for the associates and the community," says Melvin Covington, Wal-Mart store manger.

Alcoa, meanwhile, is landing some big retailers to take up for their loss.

"Circuit City, I believe PetSmart, Old Navy," says Johnson.

But they're far from completion to bring in revenue. That could mean an increase in property tax for Alcoa residents.

"Ten, twelve, fifteen cents, somewhere in that range depending what the loss is going to be," Johnson says.

The new Maryville Wal-Mart is expected to open at 7:00 a.m. March 14th.

Covington says the new store will offer a drive through garden center, different specialty shops, and new items such as laminate flooring.