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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cabela’s to issue refunds for extra sales tax charged in first 12 days

By Bill Wilson
The Wichita Eagle

Cabela’s Wichita officials are issuing refunds for a 1.2 percent sales tax erroneously charged in the first 12 days of the store’s operation when a community improvement district was not legally triggered.

Customers who shopped at the new store at 21st and Greenwich should bring in a receipt showing they were charged the additional sales tax, which was collected from the store’s March 11 opening to March 23, company spokesman Wes Remmer said.

“Cabela’s will do its best to accommodate all refund requests,” Remmer said. “People who have additional questions or unique circumstances are encouraged to contact the store directly.”

Wichita City Hall neglected to notify the state on time that it created a special sales tax district to spur the Cabela’s development. That move will delay revenue intended to help finance the store’s construction and completion of the nearby interchange at K-96 and Greenwich essential to funneling out-of-towners to the store.

As a result of the slipup, the store won’t be able to begin collecting the tax until July 1.

Remmer declined to comment on the amount of extra tax collected, saying Cabela’s does not reveal proprietary single-store sales information.

He also declined to point fingers for the tax slipup. City officials did not return calls seeking comment on the issue.

“The CID was one component of a complex process,” Remmer said. “There was goodwill throughout the process from all parties involved, and we’re grateful for the partnership of the city of Wichita.

“Relative to the notice period, more specific communications from both sides likely would have improved the process,” Remmer said, “but Cabela’s is focused on moving forward.”

Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or bwilson@wichitaeagle.com.

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