McDonald’s could swoop into Buckley and generate taxes

Buckley might welcome a McDonald’s, which could generate much tax revenue

Strategically placed across the street from Mr. Bills, McDonald’s could be the hero who saves the city from a budget deficit.

The Buckley McDonald project has been underway since December 2022, and City Administrator Courtney Brunell expects building permits to be submitted soon.

According to documents, the McDonald’s is planned to be at the vacant lot next to Blue Max Meats (293014 SR 410). The documents also show a design of the McDonald’s, which features a two-lane drive-through and a sit-down area.

In addition to providing Buckley residents and passersby with a cheap meal, McDonald’s could do much more for Buckley residents. The city expects around $450,000 of budget deficits in 2024 and an ongoing budget deficit, so Brunell thinks McDonald’s could aid in cutting down that deficit through sales taxes.

“One fast food restaurant like that can generate tens of thousands, if not into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a city with just one of those businesses alone,” Brunell said.

Brunell said that despite the expected ongoing deficit and an expected deficit in 2024 of $400,000, she does not see this deficit directly affecting Buckley residents yet.

“I don’t think the council is going to take any drastic action regarding additional taxes this year. We’re not planning to do a levy lid lift or anything like that. We may be looking at doing our EMS levy, but no additional taxes this year,” Brunell said. “We do have some money in our cumulative reserve fund, as well as additional ARPA funds that can help get us through this next year while we plan for the future.”

ARPA funds are from the American Rescue Plan Act, a federal stimulus bill from March 2021 to aid economic aid from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brunell said historically, Buckley has yet to host high sales tax-generating businesses like car lots or fast food, and that type of economic development is important for a city.

In addition to a possible McDonald’s, Brunell said Buckley would begin processing more passports, which could bring in an additional $100,000 yearly. Brunell also said because they’ve expected a deficit, the city has tried to tighten its budget this year.

Milt Tremblay, an interim Buckley City Council member, said one thing he would like to accomplish while in the position is to keep Buckley on budget, and he said a way to accomplish that is through dipping into city reserves. Regarding the possibility of a new McDonald’s, apart from him becoming a frequent customer, he’s hopeful it can bring Buckley what it needs.

“Hopefully, it brings more tax revenue in. That’s what we need. We need businesses to generate revenue to help us provide the services we need to provide,” Tremblay said.