Mar. 9, 2019

Mallory Herrmann

While city councilmembers, commissioners and staff often give a brief explanation of economic development incentives when they come up during public meetings, all those acronyms can become confusing in a hurry.

This is the continuation of a series from the Tribune to help members of the public better understand what these tools are and how they’re used by communities like ours.

Community improvement districts (CID) are local special taxing districts that generate revenue to pay for public improvements, facilities or services. CIDs are their own political subdivision.

They allow an additional sales tax to be assessed in that area to help fund projects that improve the community. Often used to fund infrastructure, safety improvements or beautification projects, a CID is designed to promote both retention and growth in the area.

CIDs are established by the property owners within the boundaries of the district. This may include residents in the district, but it is more likely to be established by business owners in a retail or other development area.

In Lee’s Summit, the amount granted by the CID may be up to a one-cent sales tax. Per the city’s guidelines for economic development incentives, CIDs should be used in relation to public benefits – they discourage the use of CID or other funding programs for the sole benefit of private maintenance and repair costs.

If the case of a CID in a blighted area, public improvements related to the project should be prioritized.

The city council must approve all applications for CIDs.