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Sales tax rebate for new Cabela's store approved by Oklahoma City Council

Outdoor retailer Cabela’s plans to invest about $10 million in an 80,000-square-foot “Next Generation” store in northwest Oklahoma City.
by William Crum Modified: July 1, 2014 at 9:46 pm •  Published: July 2, 2014

A longtime local businessman Tuesday welcomed the competition from Oklahoma City’s newest outdoors store while, in so many words, reminding city council members whose horse they rode in on.

Nebraska-based Cabela’s plans to open a showroom late next year in northwest Oklahoma City after winning up to $3.5 million in taxpayer incentives with city council approval Tuesday morning.

Based on projections of $36 million in annual sales, the sales tax rebates would be paid over eight years at a rate of $432,000 per year.

Cabela’s is building a $10 million, 80,000-square-foot “Next Generation” showroom in Chisholm Creek, at Western Avenue and the Kilpatrick Turnpike.

Tom Adams is general manager of Backwoods, the outfitter with a store at N May Avenue and NW 122 Street, about two miles from Chisholm Creek.

Adams said Cabela’s arrival would promote outdoor activities and prompt Backwoods “to step up our game.”

But he also said Backwoods — by sponsoring activities such as trail and shoreline cleanups — has helped build Oklahoma City’s outdoors community.

“Don’t forget about the guys who’ve been here in Oklahoma City doing the outdoors thing for 40 years,” he said. “We’ve been a valued part of this community.”

Sales leader

Founded in 1961 as a mail-order business in Chappell, Neb., Cabela’s has grown into a publicly traded company that bills itself as the “World’s Foremost Outfitter” of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear.

According to its website, the company’s foundation remains its catalog business, shipping to all 50 states and 125 countries.

Cabela’s began Internet sales early, in 1998, and says its lodge-inspired showrooms are “as much wildlife museums and education centers as retail stores.”

Oklahoma City’s analysis projects the Chisholm Creek showroom will generate $1.4 million in sales taxes annually, including $360,000 for MAPS 3, $270,000 for police and fire, and $45,000 for the zoo. About $432,000, or 1.2 cents for every dollar in sales, would be returned to Cabela’s as a rebate.

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by William Crum
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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How the deal works

The Cabela’s store in Oklahoma City will collect 8.375 cents for every dollar spent on items subject to sales tax. That includes 2 cents for the city’s general fund, which is where the money resides for day-to-day city expenses. As that money rolls in, Oklahoma City will rebate 1.2 cents to Cabela’s, up to $3.5 million. After that, the city will collect the full 2 cents as long as the store continues to operate.


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