By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
When the time came to renew a tax some Sioux City property owners pay, Downtown Partners was ready for an uphill battle.
Five years ago, renewal of the self-supported municipal improvement district, SMID, faced a challenge from several business owners who said the organization wasn't meeting their needs.
This time around, 86-percent have signed on their support. What's changed?
The economy has improved a bit since 2008, there's new development downtown, and the idea of a new casino is attracting a lot of interest.
Downtown Partners Director Ragen Cote also said that after a reorganization, the group is doing a better job of helping businesses.
"A lot of these small businesses basically just need the opportunity to do what they do best, and let us worry about the rest. Let us worry about promotion, let us worry about getting some foot traffic downtown so that they can do what they do as a small business," explained Cote, adding that the group is less event-oriented than it used to be.
Cote said the SMID amounts to two dollars in additional tax for every one-thousand dollars in commercial property owned.
The organization's hoping to expand their borders to include the new businesses on Pearl Street, as well.
Monday, the city council gave initial approval of the renewal. After it goes through planning and zoning, it will come back to the council for final approval in March.
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