When Lehigh County Commissioners rejected a tax incentive plan last summer for a $140 million Costco, Target and Whole Foods complex in Lower Macungie Township, it appeared the project was dead on arrival.
The developer and local government officials had long maintained that if the county, township and East Penn School Board did not each sign off on a tax increment financing plan, the project could not move forward.
But now, the entity proposing the TIF says it can be approved even if one or more of the taxing bodies opts out, and they intend to press forward with it despite the county’s rejection.
“The TIF can legally proceed without the participation of the county,” said John Lushis Jr., solicitor for the Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority. “If their understanding was otherwise, then that’s not correct.”
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