The Greenville City Council has begun the process toward the creation of a business district in the city.
At its May meeting, the council hired an Edwardsville firm to begin work on it.
If approved, the district would increase the sales tax on certain items by one cent per dollar. Greenville’s current sales tax rate is 7.75 cents per dollar.
Economic Development Director Bill Walker talked about the advantages of a district for the city. He said much of what the city does now is based on TIF increments. The business district would add 1% to the sales tax, when appropriate. Vehicles, prescriptions, and groceries would not be taxed. Prepared food and gasoline would.
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Walker said the city’s intention are to include the area of I-70, up Harris Avenue, up Third Street to encompass the downtown square area. He said the next step is to develop those boundaries then present it at a public hearing. If the city council approves it, they must do so by October for it to go into effect at the start of 2024.
The creation of a business district can be done on the vote of the city council, meaning no public referendum is required.
In 2013, the city council talked about a business district, but took no action. At that time, the district boundaries were proposed to be an area along Illinois Rt. 127 near Interstate70. Opposition was raised by businesses to that plan.
City officials believe the current proposal is better because it would include businesses from I-70, along Illinois Rt. 127 north to the city square.