A proposed special service area tax for downtown Rock Island went before city council Monday night and some business owners and residents expressed their opinions.
These tax dollars would be used to improve downtown.
Property owners in the special service area would pay a 1.15 percent property tax on their assessed value.
Downtown Moline and downtown East Moline already have their own active SSAs.
One man who lives in downtown Rock Island opposes the plan because some people weren’t included in the conversation.
“it’s really important to understand, especially considering the SSA you’re proposing will tax the life out of the poorest people on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities while a $17 billion corporation in our backyard got to self select the lower rate from them and get to say where their money goes,” Rock Island resident Robert Burke said. “On this note at the last meeting, city staff clarified that they had made no effort and will not be making any effort to engage with renters in the SSA despite the fact that tax burden will in fact be passed onto them.”
Everyone else who spoke supported the SSA.
One business owner says if people are willing to try to make the city better, city leaders should go for it.
“If you have people like me who are invested in Rock Island, who are emotionally, financially invested in Rock Island, willing to give money that they might not have,” Nicole Watson-Lam said. “Not everybody that owns property is rich, just for the record. So that being said, if you have people like me who are willing to invest more more dollars to even see if this is going to work, I think that you guys should be for it.”
The 60-day objection phase began Tuesday.
Property owners or registered voters in the SSA can submit signed objection petitions to the city.
It takes 51 percent of both groups to stop it and that would only stop it for two years.