The City of Lathrop is about to receive a major boost to its sales tax revenue.
On Tuesday, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors 3-2 to approve a tax-sharing agreement that will allow Lathrop to move forward with plans to annex a portion of the county on its northern border that will soon be home to the Pilot/Fying J Truck Stop.
The San Joaquin Local Agency Formation Commission will need to approve the annexation on Jan. 12 before the entire project is completely in the clear.
According to Lathrop City Manager Steve Salvatore, the agreement with the county will allow to the county to retain all the sales tax generated from the Pape Kenworth Sales and Service Center located on Roth Road while the City of Lathrop will receive all of the sales tax revenue from the new truck stop – a proposed project that became a political flashpoint in the lead up to the November campaign.
The city will also receive a small portion of Measure C sales tax dollars from certain transactions conducted at Pape Kenworth, though Salvatore said that the amount will be minimal.
Some estimates that have been cited publically quote as much as an additional $1 million-a-year in sales tax revenue from the truck stop alone.
The new proposed agreement, which was already approved by the Lathrop City Council, won’t change the existing split of property taxes between the city and the county.
Because of the large volume of trucks that will be served – and the amount of fuel that will be sold to each of the tractor-trailer customers – the agreement between the county and the city is being viewed as a victory for the city in their push to secure the nation’s largest travel center chain to appeal to a growing trucking industry in the community and provide much needed sales tax revenue to fund essential city services.
The project was billed as an economic driver for the city when it was proposed to the Lathrop City Council for its consideration earlier this year. A group of concerned citizens – some backed by rival truck stop owners and those with a vested interest in not seeing competition coming into the community – became vocal critics of the proposal and even went so far as to organize a petition drive to try and get the council to rescind its approval.
A candidate for mayor with a campaign that was funded in large part by the owner of Lathrop’s existing truck stop – the same person who organized the “grassroots” effort to stop the project – reinforced the opposition. The project passed through the council unanimously.
That candidate, Steven Macias, managed to secure almost 40 percent of the overall vote in the Lathrop mayoral race but failed to defeat two-time incumbent Sonny Dhaliwal who will begin his third term next week when he’s sworn in as mayor.
If the Flying J project gets the blessing of LAFCo early next year, all the necessary hurdles will be cleared to allow for construction to begin shortly thereafter.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.