EVANSVILLE - City Council in November will consider a plan to create revenue for Downtown projects using a new tax assessment on Downtown properties.
The Downtown Economic Improvement District could use funds for beautification, seasonal decorations, ambassadors to assist at major events, efforts to reduce crime or homelessness, and implement the Downtown Master Plan released last year.
A public hearing on the issue is scheduled Nov. 27.
Joshua Armstrong, director of the Southwest Indiana Chamber’s Downtown Alliance, is spearheading the proposal.
Downtown property owners were petitioned about the Economic Improvement District. Slightly more than half of the 305 residential and commercial property owners endorsed the plan. Armstrong said the endorsed petitions represented 73 percent of the Downtown area’s assessed value.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke supports the EID. It is expected to produce an annual budget of about $625,000.
Of that, $250,000 would be for economic development, marketing and public space “activation;” $250,000 for making spaces clean, safe and attractive; and $125,000 for management and administration. Armstrong would be the EID director.
For commercial properties, the rate is 21 cents per $100 assessed value, but those on Main Street would pay an additional $7.35 per foot of street frontage. There is a cap of $30 million assessed value.
For residential properties, the annual flat rate is $150 on Main Street and $100 elsewhere within the district.
Main Street property owners would pay slightly more because they would stand to benefit the most, Armstrong said.
If the City Council votes to create the EID, it would take effect for spring 2018 tax bills.