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Tinley Park plans tax break for Chrysler

WORST: 1.  Chrysler

WORST: 1. Chrysler

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Updated: January 5, 2014 6:28AM



Tinley Park trustees on Tuesday gave tentative approval to a sales tax-sharing agreement with the real estate arm of automaker Chrysler Group for the planned expansion of a Bettenhausen Automotive dealership in the village.

The agreement with Chrysler Group Realty Co. would be worth as much as $3 million over 10 years and would help defray the cost of a planned $13 million expansion of Bettenhausen’s Dodge and Ram truck store, 8325 W. 159th St.

Once the expansion is completed within a couple of years, the dealership would carry Chrysler and Jeep vehicles that are now sold at a Bettenhausen dealership in Orland Park, according to Mike Bettenhausen, general manager of Bettenhausen Automotive. He said his company had been permitted by Chrysler Group to sell from two locations, but that the automaker now wants to have all its vehicles sold from one dealership.

For the expansion project, Chrysler Group Realty will buy the Community Mazda dealership directly east of the Dodge-Ram store, according to Cheryl Ansel, a vice president with Chrysler Group Realty, which is financing the project. Bettenhausen Automotive would lease the former Mazda property, Bettenhausen said.

Unlike a reduction in property tax, the sales tax incentive isn’t guaranteed but is based on the dealership meeting certain sales targets.

Tinley Park would get 100 percent of the first $287,000 of sales tax revenue generated by the larger dealership, but revenue above that amount would be shared, with the village receiving 51 percent and Chrysler 49 percent. Chrysler wouldn’t share in any of the sales tax revenue that goes to the state.

The project will add 50 jobs, and after taking into account the tax break, Tinley Park would see $3.1 million in new sales tax revenue over the duration of the agreement, according to the village.

At 50,000 square feet, the new dealership would be double the size of the current building and would feature a 10,000-square-foot showroom, customer lounge and children’s play area, Bettenhausen said.

He said the Chrysler-Jeep store, 15941 S. 94th Ave., Orland Park, would close in 2015 or 2016, once the expanded Tinley Park dealership opens.

Bettenhausen Automotive converted that former Thomas Dodge dealership in summer 2009 to sell Chrysler and Dodge vehicles. That move was prompted by the company renovating its other Tinley Park location, on Oak Park Avenue, to sell only Fiats.

In summer 2011, the company moved Dodge and Ram vehicles to the former Saturn dealership at 159th Street and 84th Avenue. That’s the building that would be enlarged to accommodate Chrysler and Jeep vehicles.



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