Two days after La Barra Ristorante opened at 2 E. Burlington St. in Riverside, the village’s board of trustees on Nov. 17 voted to rebate sales tax revenue generated by the business for a period of three years, beginning Dec. 1.
The economic incentive package was passed as part of the village board’s omnibus agenda at its regular business meeting last week and was not unexpected. The village board discussed such an incentive in late 2015 and early 2016 when the partners in the venture, Riverside resident Patrick Leone and restaurateur Rich Labriola first pitched the idea.
When trustees last discussed the possibility of a sales tax rebate back in March, village officials estimated it could result in about $100,000 being rebated to the business over the three-year period.
At the time, some trustees sought for the village to impose a cap on the rebate amount, but there was no such cap in the resolution passed by trustees on Nov. 17.
According to the terms of the agreement, the village of Riverside will rebate 100 percent of the local share of state sales taxes the business pays to the Illinois Department of Revenue and 100 percent of the 1-percent places for eating tax that the village has had on the books since 2006.
The business will still collect the sales tax, but La Barra’s owners will annually and in writing be able to request that money be rebated. Riverside is responsible for rebating the money within 60 days of getting such a request and a letter from the Illinois Department of revenue confirming the amount.
Prior to the business opening, Riverside’s village board approved an initial incentive package that included waiving up to $35,000 in building, plumbing and electrical permit fees and also waived the cost of architectural and plan reviews, which is typically passed along to developers.
Additionally, for the first three years the business is open, Riverside waived fees for the Cook County-provided health inspections, business license fees and liquor license fees.
And earlier this month, the village board voted to waive the fees for a new add-on liquor license that allows La Barra to include alcohol sales with takeout and delivery orders.
In all, that package of incentives will waive about $50,000 in fees over the three-year period.