Dealers plan to pay education taxes

As they pay back the lease for their land, Sand Mountain Toyota officials plan to pay sales taxes for education. Owners Gary Linam and Mark Brickey plan to be a partner with the city of Albertville and vow they will not drain funds from existing revenues. According to Brickey they had good intentions.

The dealership based in Boaz, and owned by Driving 2000 (Huntsville) is looking for a different location. On Dec. 21, the Albertville City Council asked the circuit court to have an agreement be validated that would lease 7 acres of a 12-acre tract on U.S. 431 North for the $4.4 million Toyota dealership. With approval from the court, the council will create a $2 million bond issue, which will allow them to pay $1.1 million for the site, and leave the balance in an escrow account for the purchase of land in the future. Monthly $1,000 lease-to-own payments and sales tax generated by the dealership and Sand Mountain Toyota will be used to pay off the bond. Kilpatrick Toyota is also planning to move to a new location. They will be moving from Boaz to its new home in Albertville on U.S. 431 South, near the Old Food World.

However, in 2006, the dealership was bought by Driving 2000, where they changed the name and started looking at new sites. Brickey pointed out that as they proceeded to make the purchase, they began to really look at the land and its surrounding areas and seriously think about whether they wanted to build a $5 million facility there or not.

According to Brickey the dealership owners wanted to have better visibility and to be closer to the Huntsville area. Brickey has spoken with Mike Dendy about moving the dealership to the property he owns in Guntersville. But while Brickey plans to have the loan paid off before the 10-year due date, Linam promises to personally guarantee the pay off. However, some do not believe that Sand Mountain Toyota has what it takes to generate the funds necessary to pay back the debt.

As a result of the purchase in 2006 Linam said his dealership has grown. He boasts that December was the best month ever for Sand Mountain Toyota, and that their business is all about volume. Linam believes that jealous car dealers are the only groups that are opposing their move to Albertville and incentives. If a deal can not be worked out with the city of Albertville, they would think about looking at other properties, said Brickey and Linam. If Toyota on Sand Mountain moves to Albertville, it would be great for the city. Linam believes that they will be a prize for any city that catches them, and added that Driving 2000 spent over $1 million in advertising in the Huntsville area because they want to tell them about Albertville.

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