The Columbia City Council goes over the top of its own Tax Increment Financing Commission, and approves a $2 million tax break for The Broadway hotel downtown.
The vote Monday night was a big step for the owner to start work on a second hotel tower on Walnut, a $20 million project.
Councilman Matt Pitzer says he’s run the numbers, and the proposal checks out.
“I think there’s a clear benefit to the community,” Pitzer said. “It encourages the goals and the objectives that we’ve set forth, and it clearly results in a net positive economic gain for us.”
Since the city’s TIF commission was against The Broadway expansion, it took a two-thirds majority of city council votes in favor on Monday night for it to pass. Columbia Public Schools also appeared to be against it.
Councilwoman Betsy Peters says she was a “no” vote as of Monday afternoon, but flipped by late that night.
“That will bring more jobs downtown, and that will provide some tax base. And it’s not money that we’re giving you back, it’s money we don’t have in our pocket anyway,” Peters said.
“This is something that we can see, that we can touch, that we can use, that will benefit this generation today,” Councilman Clyde Ruffin, who represents downtown, says.
Mayor Brian Treece, and Councilman Ian Thomas, cast the two votes against the TIF.