Ralcorp renovations
4:31 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

City to use tax credits to retain Ralcorp

The city of St. Louis once again plans to use tax credits to keep the headquarters of a major company in downtown.

Legislation that will be introduced at the Board of Aldermen on Friday gives Ralcorp $20 million in tax credits to upgrade and expand its headquarters at 8th and Market.

The company will pay lower taxes on office equipment, and be exempt from the sales tax on materials used in the renovation. Officials say the renovations the credits will fund allow them to retain 400 jobs, plus add another 100.

Ralcorp will invest $15 million of its own money - a trade Alderwoman Phyllis Young calls fair.

"We will be gaining over the next ten years $5.3 million on payroll taxes. We're also anticipating another $1.4 million in additional payroll taxes, and we will continue to receive the real estate property taxes because it is in a better condition, and that's what assessments are based on, whether a building is fully occupied and what condition it's in," Young said.

Young says Ralcorp was exploring other options, but has committed to staying downtown. If she had her way, she says she'd stop the arms race of incentives.

"But if we just stop, and everyone else keeps going,then we create our own hole," she said. "And I'm not going to  dig that hole."

In a statement, Ralcorp said it "determined that versus  moving, expanding our square footage and investing in this space would best serve our business, our employees, our shareholders, and the St. Louis community. We are committed to St. Louis and we are pleased to receive what we believe are reasonable incentives offered to help retain a major employer such as Ralcorp in the City of St. Louis."