Casino to help Downtown Partners with future programs
By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Sioux City's special downtown taxing district stands to get a windfall when the new Hard Rock casino opens.
The tax amounts to a maximum $2.25 for every $100,000 in property owned.
Hard Rock's minimum assessment according to the development agreement is $51-million. That means the casino could contribute over $100,000 to the downtown improvement district.
At least one council member thinks that should reduce the burden on the rest of the property owners.
"I do think we should look at a combination of returning some of that smid back to those who pay in by maybe adjusting the rate of the SMID, but still allowing a modest gain of revenue for Downtown Partners to operate," said Mayor Pro-Tem Keith Radig.
The money is divvied out by Downtown Partners for marketing and beautification projects.
The group's executive director believes the board will try to strike a balance between lowering the rate and paying for new programs.
One of those is getting set to launch this summer; a trolley taking people from Historic Fourth Street to the West End entertainment district on Friday and Saturday nights.
“If someone wants to go eat on Historic 4th Street, and they have tickets to an Orpheum Show, they could actually leave their car down on Historic 4th, take the trolley to the show. The trolley would be there when it's over, takes them back down to their car or wherever they want to go within downtown,” explained Ragen Cote.
The trolley would also run during the holiday shopping season.
Other projects in the works are a recycling program for downtown condos, new signs in the skywalk, additional green space.
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