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SSMID renewal could mean slightly higher property taxes for downtown Decorah property owners

Posted: Wed, Aug 7, 2019 9:28 AM

For nearly 20 years, property owners in downtown Decorah and some property owners on the West Side have paid a slightly higher property tax in order to finance improvements in their area.

The "Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District," or "SSMID," has paid for improvements such as benches and flower baskets--anything the SSMID Board believes would benefit the commercial area.

The current authorization for the SSMID expires on June 30th of next year.  In order for the program to continue, it would have to be approved by a sufficient number of property owners within the district.

Members of the SSMID Board on Wednesday discussed increasing the amount of the tax levy for the next ten years.  The new proposal would set the tax levy so that $20,000 a year would be raised instead of the current $15,000 a year.  SSMID Board members were quick to point out that the actual petition drive would be conducted by members of Downtown Decorah Betterment Association--not by the board.  The petition drive will be necessary because without it, the SSMID would no longer exist as of July 1st, 2020.