Peoria’s Downtown Development Corporation is proposing the creation of a special service area. It would include the medical and warehouse districts plus downtown and the riverfront.
Planned services are street and sidewalk clean-up, landscape maintenance, decorations, directories and a website. Funding would come from three sources, two of which are taxes.
Downtown Development Corporation CEO Michael Freilinger says one tax is on property. It would be $58 dollars for every $100,000 of assessed valuation. “The other would be a quarter percent sales tax on purchases made in the district. In addition to that, we would do what is called a PILOT, or payment in lieu of property taxes with the governmental entities and the tax exempt property owners in the district,” Freilinger said.
The pilot agreements with the non-profit organizations are voluntary. Governmental and non-profit entities make up 30 percent of the proposed district.
The sales tax request would put the overall rate at 11.25-percent in the special service area. Restaurant owner Travis Mohlenbrink says that would be much higher than East Peoria’s rate of eight percent. “My main concern is it’s a very quick drive to cross the river to eat or have an event or stay in hotel rooms at a rate that is much lower now than what we’re
proposing and talking about here in the Peoria area.”
The Peoria city council must approve the plan before it becomes effective. There’s a public meeting on the special service area next Tuesday at 5:30 at the Gateway Building at the foot of Hamilton Street.