Furniture retailer seeks $9.5M in tax breaks to locate in Memphis

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea would save about $9.5 million over 11 years with a tax incentive the company is requesting as it plans to invest more than $64 million for a new store in Memphis, reports the Commercial Appeal.

Ikea would be the first retailer to receive a payment-in-lieu-of taxes incentive from the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County, created in 2011 to streamline city and county governments’ business incentives.

In an announcement on Dec. 16 at Memphis City Hall, Ikea unveiled a plan to build a store — its first in Tennessee, Mississippi or Arkansas — on 35 acres behind a Costco near Germantown Parkway, Interstate 40 and the Wolfchase Galleria.

In the final version of its PILOT application filed this week with EDGE, the high-profile furniture retailer indicates that receiving a tax incentive is part of its plan to come to Memphis, the smallest market in the country that the firm has considered.

…EDGE officials say that it is only by board policy that no local tax incentives for retail companies have been given and that the board can change that policy, either for a specific case like Ikea or drawing up guidelines.

The next regularly scheduled EDGE board meeting, held on the third Wednesday of each month, is Jan. 21.

State incentives in Tennessee don’t allow retail-only incentives, officials said.