NORFOLK - No occupation tax is coming to the Sunset Plaza Mall after a decision by the Norfolk City Council.
During Monday night’s meeting, the second step of the request for the mall to be designated as an Enhanced Employment District was discussed.
Many council members expressed concerns they have heard from the community in regards to the potential 1% occupation tax.
Michael Carter representing the mall said the tax is a model that is widely used in communities the same size as Norfolk.
"When you talk about the tenants, it's not just saving the mall - Herberger’s is one big tenant. This (improvements) will bring four to five tenants. Most of them will also have exterior entrances, so a lot of it will be opening up to the outside concept using the current structure."
Mayor Josh Moenning said the council has heard for over a year now about the negotiations with the potential new tenants and the lack of communication between the mall and the City hasn’t been helpful.
"If we're encouraging retail, let's encourage retail that meets the needs of the market today and customer preference. I'm not sure that the positioning and the preparation has been done through the years to do that."
"Here we are now with a lot of us being felt that we're being put in a position to ask taxpayers and existing tenants to finance a bailout of something that should've been maintained, improved, and upgraded to be in the position of not needing the bailout today."
The council voted to deny designating the mall as an Enhanced Employment District with Mayor Moenning, and Councilmen Corey Granquist, Rob Merrill, and Thad Murren voting against.