Five years after Mandan wooed Walmart into building in the community to boost its sales tax revenue, the property has met revenue projections on average, though the annual numbers have dropped.

With a 1 percent sales tax at the time, estimated sales tax revenue from the addition of Walmart was $400,000 annually, based on $40 million in taxable sales, according to Ellen Huber, the city's business development director. 

In 2013, when Walmart was open about three months, overall collections climbed 18 percent to $2.37 million — a difference of $367,446 compared to 2012, Huber said.

Numbers for 2014 were up $675,256 and for 2015 up $486,696, based on a 1 percent sales tax.

While 2016 collections, based on a 1 percent sales tax, were above 2012 levels, they didn't meet projections, with gains $300,719 above 2012. The same was true for 2017, with $357,573 in gains. Add the 0.75 percent tax levied starting in 2015 for the Starion Sports Complex, and collections now total about $4.1 million, Huber said.

Averaged together, the first four full years of collections were up $455,061 annually.

“It is performing every bit as well as expected, better in some cases,” said Matt Armiger, regional general manager of the Mandan Walmart. “(North Dakota) is really just a wonderful state for us.”

There are a number of financial metrics Walmart considers when building additional stores in an area it already serves, according to Armiger.

The town needs a certain population density. Walmart asks whether the community is growing. The company also considers whether another location will help more evenly distribute volume across area stores.

Recent growth — with an expectation of more to come — in Mandan is attracting the attention of franchise owners.

“There is more potential for growth in the north and northeast of Mandan," said Monte Stein, co-franchise owner of Bennigan's. "There is a big growth of families and businesses. It’s been great for Mandan, and it’s been a long time coming."

Being near Walmart was less of a consideration for Blake Feil when he was considering a Mandan location for his Feil Orthodontics. Proximity to the middle school, ease of access to the interstate for his patients commuting from the west and being near major employers, such as Cloverdale, NISC and Pepsi, was more important when he started making plans in 2008.

The 1411 27th St. N.W. location has worked well, Feil said.

“Each year has been just a little bit better than the last,” said Feil, adding that he “loves seeing what's happening up there” and is “proud to be invested in that part of Mandan.”

“I think it’s brought a lot of good jobs in the community,” Armiger said of Walmart.

Walmart offers its employees benefits, including a dollar a week toward college education, maternal and paternal leave that started this year and quarterly bonuses based upon a store’s performance.

“And obviously, there's the tax revenues it brings in,” Armiger said.

Walmart was given a property tax exemption for two years by the city as an incentive. The estimated value was $201,690.

“The estimated sales tax revenue was roughly double in only one year of what the property tax exemption would equal over two years — plus annual payroll of $4.5 million for an estimated 167 full-time and 83 part-time employees,” Huber said.

Prior to development, the raw land was generating $7,653 in annual property tax revenue. It now generates an average of $117,702, with the 2017 amount of $176,332 being more than 23 times the original sum, Huber said.

“I definitely see a lot more life happening in Mandan in the last three years,” Feil said. “People feel like they can shop and stop in Mandan and not have to cross the river.”

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Business Reporter