Midland city council approves new incentives for Bass Pro Shops

Recordings of the CBS7 News at 6 broadcast.
Published: Sep. 26, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) -Bass Pro Shops could soon become a reality in the city of Midland.The city council voted 6-1 to update incentives for bass pro shops.

In March, the city and representatives of Bass Pro Shops agreed to a specific deal with specific tax breaks.

However, the city has now come back with more tax incentives to sweeten the deal between the company and city.

Though it will be a big relief for Bass Pro Shops, many Midlanders agree it will benefit the city for years to come.

The incentives to bring Bass Pro ShopS to Midland include, increasing the 50% sales tax rebate from seven to ten years.

Providing a 100% city property tax abatement for ten years. Adding $250,000 payment over ten years from the city’s hotel-motel fund.

And $5.5 million dollars from the Midland Development Corporation for infrastructure costs.

Though this does not guarantee that a Bass Pro Shop will come to Midland, it does give them a good chance.

“What we’ve seen in all our studies is that they bring a six miles radius of people that travel to go to bass pro. We’re looking at millions of dollars of sales tax, and property tax revenues, over the next twenty years by bringing in bass pro.” said Midland City Councilmember, Jack Ladd.

Lots of people at the council meeting spoke positively about the possibility of Bass Pro Shops coming to Midland.

Using other cities as examples of the benefits they can reap with large businesses like Bass Pro Shops or something similar.

“Certainly, Bass Pro Shops has been a catalyst for development for other cities in the past and that’s what we anticipate in Midland as well. There are a lot of retail pad sites surrounding the bass pro site. There’s also a lot of land to the west of 191. There’s a lot of potential for more exciting things to come with bass pro being the anchor tenant.” said Sara Harris, Executive Director at the Midland Development Corporation.

However, not everyone agreed. The only member of the city council to vote no on this new agreement was At-Large Dan Corrales.

“For me when you have a deal in West Texas, and you shake hands on it, and we did. We inked a deal. Back in March. We are now giving them more incentives with nothing in writing saying what we’re getting.” said Dan Corrales, Midland City Council At-Large.

Corrales said though the city does need to develop infrastructure, he doesn’t like that it’s a long-term deal and it costs a lot of money. As well as other concerns.

“Who’s to say that we won’t come back in two weeks and add more incentives. Why not give them five million more in a month. Ten million more in two months. There has to be a quid pro quote of what you’re getting.” said Corrales.

Council member Ladd said the next step is wait for the response from Bass Pro Shops.

However, he also said that this sent a message to other big corporations that Midland is open for business.