Fort Madison Blocks Downtown Tax

Fort Madison, IA – The Fort Madison City Council has rejected a plan to create a new Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District (SSMID) tax. The revenue from the tax would have gone to Fort Madison Main Street.

Fort Madison was part of the Main Street program more than 20 years ago. The city was asked to rejoin 10 months ago.

The organization proposed the SSMID tax to try to raise money.

Supporters of the tax presented the city council with a petition filled with the signatures of property owners in downtown Fort Madison. Opponents did the same prior to the city council vote.

City Manager Byron Smith says the division among property owners prompted the city council's decision.

Fort Madison Main Street estimated the tax would generate about $19,000/year.

The Fort Madison City Council has agreed to help make up that difference by contributing an additional $14,000 to Fort Madison Main Street. The city is already contributing $30,000 to the organization over 3 years.

Smith says the council discussed using hotel/motel tax to help fund the organization. He says that was eventually decided against, though the discussion could lead to a shift in who oversees those funds.