KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A new way to collect and spend money is coming to downtown Kalamazoo.
The Downtown Economic Growth Authority Development replaces the Tax Increment Financing District. TIF was created in the late 1980s to reinvest tax dollars in downtown Kalamazoo, but fell on hard financial times for a variety of reasons.
Kalamazoo’s city commission officially adopted the creation of the Downtown Economic Growth Authority during Monday night’s meeting.
The new authority allows downtown partners to start investing in key infrastructure projects within downtown. It’s meant to keep downtown Kalamazoo healthy, vibrant and competitive with other downtowns around the country.
One local business owner says he’s eager to see what the new authority does for downtown Kalamazoo.
“Capital improvements, parking, safety, along with great events and retail branding, and really trying to do business development. So, there’s multifacets here that really help a downtown really thrive,” said Chris Lampen-Crowell, founder of Gazelle Sports.
Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated President Andrew Haan says the funding authority will “reset” priorities and account for current property taxes.