There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the Community Improvement District plan and, as a Walmart market manager, I feel the need to help clear up a few misconceptions about my company’s stance. Walmart has proudly served area customers for nearly 30 years by offering our Every Day Low Prices on merchandise and fresh groceries, providing quality jobs and supporting local causes and issues that matter most to the community. Walmart supports the construction of the proposed convention center and the economic growth it will bring to the city.
What the article, “Walmart decision forces tabling of convention center plans,” failed to explain is that the current CID plan has changed significantly since it was first proposed more than a year ago. In its current iteration, the special sales tax would apply to a very small number of businesses located within the CID boundaries, with Walmart bearing most of the responsibility. This version of the plan would translate to our customers shouldering a majority of the sales tax that would fund the building of the convention center.
We encourage development of a CID plan resulting in broader participation so that funding of an amenity with community-wide benefit, like the convention center, is made more equitable. The idea of a new community amenity is fantastic and we need to ensure our customers are not responsible for a disproportionate share of funding for the project.
We look forward to continuing serving our Hays customers and having conversations with the city and its stakeholders to find a viable option to bring new amenities to the city so that residents can live better.
Chad Rohr, Walmart market manager