GATE CITY — Whether it’s due to the ongoing bridge construction on Route 23 or the rise in online shopping, some businesses in Weber City have experienced challenges over the last several months.
Mary Murphy, owner of the recently closed Gold & Guns, spoke about the issue during this month’s meeting of the Scott County Board of Supervisors. She told the BOS that the value of her business property has declined significantly, and her business isn’t the only one.
At a recent auction at which she had intended to sell her business, Murphy said the bids didn’t come close to her tax-assessed property value.
“The highest bid that I got on my building, my property, was $63,000; I’m paying taxes on $150,000,” Murphy said. “I got an offer of a little more than a third of what my property is tax assessed for.”
Murphy said Roberts Tire & Recapping, also recently closed, was auctioned a week before, and a similar situation occurred.
“Their tax appraisal was $835,000,” Murphy said. “They sold the business and the equipment inside the building for $350,000. My concern is the property values are dropping along that stretch.”
Murphy said she chose not to sell her business in hopes that she could secure a higher offer, though the owner of Roberts Tire & Recapping did sell. Murphy told the BOS that “we need to really develop” the town’s Riverside development to ensure its value doesn’t also drop.
Supervisor Danny Mann said a developer told him that the Riverside property was one of the most valuable retail properties along Route 23 in the state.
Murphy said she believes that claim is giving people a “false assessment.”
“If that is so, when you can stand in my parking lot and see that property, why is my property not considered valuable, and why isn’t Roberts, that we cannot even get what it’s tax assessed for? … If we don’t develop that property soon, all of it’s going to be worthless,” Murphy said.
Mann said there was a lot of interest in the Riverside property not long ago, but added that brick-and-mortar stores are “not going like they once were.”
“There was some interest there, so I don’t know,” Mann said. “There’s decline everywhere for the brick-and-mortar type stores. Everybody’s going to Amazon and places like that, and we’re not through (with Riverside) by no means, but hopefully that (property) will look good to somebody and they’ll want to come there. The (Economic Development Authority) is working hard to get it done.”