The Downtown Columbia Leadership Council formed a task force at their meeting Tuesday night. Its goal is to help City Council find the most appropriate way to fund necessary infrastructure improvements in downtown Columbia. While City Council will take the advice into account, they are feeling the pressure to make decisions now.
Monday night, Columbia City Council voted 5-2 against a plan for a tax increment financing district that City Manager Mike Matthes had been promoting. The TIF would’ve paid for infrastructure projects in the downtown area.
Council member, Ian Thomas, had been hearing a lot of concern about the TIF the week prior to the meeting. He says people did not fully understand it and that they felt it was not constant with community plans. He says this concern was echoed in the meeting.
At a meeting tonight, members of Columbia’s City Council are expected to vote on a resolution offering preliminary support for a downtown TIF district. The idea, which would fund downtown infrastructure improvements, would freeze sales and property taxes for up to 23 years – money from any additional future revenue increases would then be diverted to a special fund for those improvements.