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Perry council hears proposal to new business tax | News

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Perry council hears proposal to new business tax
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Perry Economic Development presented City Council with the idea of making General Courtney Hodges Boulevard a community improvement district.

That means businesses along the road would pay an additional property tax in order to fund projects in that district.

To be approved, 51 percent of the 122 businesses have to agree to be part of it. Also, they have to make up 75 percent of the taxable value of the property.

In that area, there is a total taxable value of over $12,000.

The community improvement district (CID) would form their own board to decide what projects to fund.

This board would also decide what the additional tax will be, which will be in the form of mills.

The city has no control over how those funds are spent.

The improvements may be sidewalks, street lights, or even security personnel.

Business owners at the meeting were hesitant. Hoke Morrow, president of Hoke's Heating and Air, says he wants to see how this would benefit him and his business.

Dr. Brian Burnham with the Perry Animal Hospital, says these improvements will benefit the whole city, so the whole city should have to pay for it.

They wanted to come up with a list of what kinds of projects would be done and where before agreeing to pay the extra taxes.

Mayor Jimmy Faircloth says he hopes it is something the business owners will consider, because he says it will improve property values.

"They're in control themselves. They have to vote to do it. They control it, and then they oversee the spending for whatever projects that they may be interested in for their area," he explains.

Faircloth also notes this would expedite improvements to the area, because they will not be on the city's waiting list.

"It is a very lucrative tool," Faircloth says, "in order to raise funding in order to make something happen sooner rather than later."

To be put in place, the proposal has to go through the 2016 legislative session.
The Director of Economic Development, Robert Smith, says he is starting to educate businesses in the area.

As of March 2014, there were 22 CIDs in Georgia that generated over 460 million dollars in total tax revenue.

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Community Improvement District in Perry


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