In their meeting tonight, Chattanooga City Council members will discuss once more a 10-year tax incentive program geared at bringing developers downtown to undertake "workforce housing" projects.
The program, proposed by River City Company President Kim White, would allow developers to enter payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements with the city as an incentive to take on high-dollar projects that would potentially have a revitalizing impact on downtown areas. The council voted to defer the resolution on the agreement last month, with many saying they had not had enough time to review the proposal in order to cast an informed vote.
If approved, the PILOT freeze period for specific projects could potentially exceed the initial 10-year timeline. If an eligible project involves rehabilitation of an existing building, it would be granted an additional two years under the agreement, with an additional two years being granted if the rehabilitation of the building was a certified, historic rehabilitation.
A version of the plan was recently approved by the Hamilton County Commission.
Council members will also vote on the first reading of an ordinance to amend the City Charter as it pertains to citizen initiatives. The council deferred a vote on the measure two weeks ago, essentially killing the changes for a proposed charter revision to be placed on the ballot as a referendum in November.
If approved, the measure would require citizens to follow "all applicable provisions of state law" regarding petitions for proposed charter revisions, in the event that a proposed revision was rejected or received disinterest from City Council members. State standards require the signatures of 15 percent of registered voters to be collected for petitions seeking to amend portions of the City Charter, while current city code requires signatures of only 25 percent of those who voted in the most recent mayoral election.
The number is often lower than the state benchmark. If approved, any future passage of the ordinance will not be possible until the mayoral election in March.
The council will also be addressed by Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of noted peacemaker Mahatma Gandhi, with remarks titled "Unbroken: A Season of Nonviolence."
Gandhi will be introduced by Missy Crutchfield.