The city of Perry will not move forward with its efforts to create a community improvement district to benefit General Courtney Hodges Boulevard.
With a CID, commercial property owners agree to voluntarily pay additional property taxes that are used for improvements they want in the area. The tax rate is decided by the property owners, and the money collected is leveraged with the city’s money to make the improvements.
City Manager Lee Gilmour said Friday that, based on the property owners’ response at a recent public meeting, Economic Development Director Robert Smith will recommend to the council to drop the CID plans along the boulevard.
“The goal was to provide a funding mechanism that was controlled by the property owners in that area to pay for improvements those property owners are interested in,” Gilmour said. “Based on the discussion and everything from the property owners, it appears that the consensus is there is not anything in particular that they feel strong enough about that they feel they want to be taxed for.”
Smith was unavailable for comment Friday.
The proposed 122-parcel district would have spanned from downtown to the Perry Welcome Center and has a total taxable value of $12.35 million.
At least 51 percent of property owners who make up at least 75 percent of the total taxable value of the district would have had to agree to the extra tax in order for the district to be created.
However, Gilmour said the city will complete improvements already planned for the corridor at “whatever the pace is that either council determines or whatever the private sector feels would be appropriate.”
The city will finish work on pedestrian lighting along the boulevard, and Gilmour said the council is preparing to consider improving the landscaping in the median.
“Those are the only immediate projects that I’m aware of that could be coming up,” Gilmour said.
Marty Myers, who’s in the general contracting business, owns a couple of acres within the would-be district. Myers said he wasn’t surprised city leaders are dropping the CID effort, because property owners weren’t on board with extra taxes. Some property owners didn’t think the district would have the control Smith said it would, he added.
“Businesses just aren’t going to do that kind of thing,” said Myers, who also had concerns about the CID including a U.S. highway.
“The promise is that we would take the tax money and spend it like we want to, but we know better than that if it’s (Department of Transportation) property.”
To contact writer Laura Corley, call 744-4334 or follow her on Twitter @Lauraecor.