The Adoption of a Single-Use SSA Would Be Detrimental To Our Community
The Business PAC of Central Illinois strongly disagrees with the City Council’s imminent adoption of a single-use Special Service Area (SSA) as a means to incentivize development. SSA’s can be a useful tool for development by helping to fund infrastructure and services above and beyond the current capabilities of a municipality to provide these themselves. For example, a SSA could pay for sidewalk snow removal, landscape maintenance, façade improvements, or uniquely branded signage for all property owners within its boundaries (such as the SSA currently being contemplated by the Downtown Development Corporation). SSA’s were never intended to be a mechanism for developers to recoup their expenses when land costs were higher than anticipated.
As a voice of the business community established to help promote business in Central Illinois, we look forward to working with the Peoria City Council to craft a SSA policy that is consistent, fair, and available to all businesses looking to grow in Peoria. We firmly believe whatever economic development tools are made available to recruit a billion dollar national corporation should also be made available to equally help locally owned businesses here in Peoria.
Whether popular or not, the city of Peoria currently has many mechanisms for assisting developers that face inflated costs. Altering a traditional SSA beyond its intended uses is an expansion of government and places an entirely unnecessary administrative burden on the City. Establishing a single-use SSA sets a dangerous precedent for this community and has far reaching implications for its businesses and residents. We ask that City Council members reconsider establishing a single-use SSA and we look forward to partnering with the city as it creates policy for traditional SSA’s.