The revitalization of downtown Bettendorf will continue, thanks to the implementation of a SSMID, or Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District. Property and business owners will be taxed $2.75 for every one thousand dollars of property value in order to aesthetically and economically improve downtown.
Bettendorf Mayor Rob Gallagher says since these districts were first allowed in Iowa in 1977, they've been responsible for high levels of economic development.
"This mechanism allows for business owners and property owners in a defined geographic location to come together to create a district that will generate funds for specific improvements and services that they want."
The Downtown Bettendorf Organization (DBO) will manage the revenue from the SSMID tax. DBO Director Ryan Jantzi is excited about the possiblities for downtown Bettendorf and its property owners are too.
"I was able to meet with 97 percent of property owners down here, and I'm happy to say that 58 percent of the property owners which represents 70 percent of the value has signed off on this. If that doesn't show you a commitment to our downtown and a commitment to our future, then I don't know what does."
Starting this month, the special downtown district will last for four years.
Since it'll take a year for enough revenue to accumulate, the city of Bettendorf and Isle Casino Hotel will provide $150,000 to pay for projects this year.