MARION — Karen Mullins, executive director of Marion Chamber of Commerce, is urging chamber members to get involved in the city’s future plans by attending the City Council’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, where the council will discuss Mayor Mike Absher’s 2020 Vision for the city.
In a emailed message from the chamber on Thursday, Mullins informed members about two aspects of the plan that will directly affect their businesses, increasing the sales tax to 9.5% and removing the city’s portion of property taxes.
Absher released the plan during a special meeting Sept. 3.
“I want our members to engage with the city, so the best possible plan can be crafted,” Mullins said. “We are encouraging our members to be part of the decision-making process.”
“The council has goals and way of making it happen. If they are going to make a change, it has to happen in October,” Mullins said.
According to the 2020 Vision document, the increased sales tax would bring the city an additional $3,612,955 in revenue. The additional revenue would be used to pay for five strategic goals set by the mayor and council.
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The goals are:
- Creating a city-wide revitalization program to focus on beautification of Marion, removing dilapidated and neglected buildings and better signage and branding;
- Funding economic development tools to replace Tax Increment Financing for redeveloping blighted areas;
- Placing uniformed, sworn police officers in six additional schools in Marion;
- Reforming code enforcement;
- Eliminating the property tax for the City of Marion.
The total cost of implementing these goals would be $3,531,152, $81,803 less than the new revenue, according to the document.
Mullins added that the city is still in the discussion phase of planning, and goals can be changed or tweaked. She wants people to get involved in the process now instead of posting on social media.
The meeting will be held at Marion City Hall.