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Tax district proposed for Harrison Avenue area in Butte

Posted at 7:27 PM, Oct 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 21:27:25-04

BUTTE - Butte officials want to set up a new tax increment district that could promote much needed economic development on Butte’s flat.

And they want the public to know:

“It’s not a new tax; it’s not a tax on anyone,” said Butte Community Development Director Karen Byrnes.

It's a way to use extra money generated from existing property taxes to make cosmetic and infrastructure improvements to the Harrison Avenue South area, which has suffered a loss of some major retailers in recent years.

“If you look good you feel good, right? So for a community, if we are able to enhance the way we look aesthetically, we’re all going to feel good and retailers and businesses and others are going to feel good about making their investments here,” said Byrnes.

A gaping hole is all that’s left of Butte’s once-thriving retail district. And that’s why a local economic agency believes this new district will make it easier on its mission to try to recruit new businesses to fill this space.

“The demand for a department store with the closing of Herberger’s is something everyone in our community supports. There’s a lot of drive for an additional grocery store; we have some very good options right now. But that’s definitely something we hear from the community loud and clear,” said Joe Willauer, director of Butte Local Development Corporation.

A public hearing on this proposed district will be held at the Nov. 6 Council of Commissioners meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Butte Courthouse.