Business owners in Macon's Eisenhower corridor may soon vote on whether to pay increased taxes to help fund revitalization in the area.
A proposal before the Macon-Bibb commission would start the process to turn Eisenhower Parkway, between I-75 and I-475, into a Community Improvement District.
Commissioner Virgil Watkins says business owners, including those in the Macon Mall, would pay higher taxes, likely a one mill increase. The added revenue would then go toward improvements like streetscapes, parks, and removing blight.
"We've been in conversations for a while on how to improve the area and entice more stores into the area," says Watkins. "One of the things that we came up with is not the mall itself, but the corridor is in need of improvements, beautification. One of the biggest things was simply the cutting of the grass and the maintaining of the right-of-ways."
Watkins says he hopes to eventually expand the district to include areas along Pio Nono Avenue and Mercer University Drive.
The Macon-Bibb economic and community development committee will vote on this in a meeting next week. If it passes, the plans will go before the full commission in two weeks.
Because the district would mean increased property taxes for part of the county, the General Assembly would then have to call for a referendum. Watkins says it would likely appear on the March primary ballot.