City-County Council to consider downtown Economic Improvement District

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Downtown Indy, Inc. (DII) announced it has received the requisite 51 percent approval to bring petitions to establish a downtown Economic Improvement District (EID) to the City-County Council.

“I am so pleased to announce that we have met and exceeded the necessary statutory thresholds to advance the Mile Square EID to the City-County Council: the number of signed property owners (both residential and commercial) representing a majority of total assessed value within the Mile Square,” said DII President & CEO Sherry Seiwert in a statement.

“I just returned from personally delivering the signed petitions to the City-County Council clerk. The petition language has been added to the Council’s agenda to be introduced on Monday night,” she said.

The campaign to raise $3 million a year for ten years from property owners inside the Mile Square was launched last summer, and its deadline extended three times as DII sought to find enough signatures to send the proposal to the council.

The EID would provide for additional maintenance, improvements and marketing of downtown properties that the city is currently not budgeting.

$700,000 of the proposed spending would address the homeless and panhandling issues that convention planners claim is hurting Indianapolis’ image.

Opponents argued that DII’s budget wasn’t specific enough.

Many of those in opposition to the plan benefited from tax breaks and incentives to build large developments downtown.

This past week DII announced that Cummins and Anthem both supported the proposal.

Council members expressed the hope that DII would deliver overwhelming support in the 60 percent range.

While the current EID barely surpassed the 51 percent threshold, any delay would likely doom the current proposal as changes in state law effective July 1 raise the level of minimal support and reduce the amount of time such a campaign could continue.

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