The special tax district encompassing Marietta’s downtown will see a drop of 3.5 percent in the tax digest to $152,601 levied in 2013, according to the development authority’s attorney Tom Cauthorn.
Cauthorn said the DMDA has 343 taxable parcels in its redevelopment district.
Board member James Eubanks, whose family owns property downtown, said it was time the authority set some long-term goals for redevelopment, one being to freshen up the look of Marietta’s downtown.
Eubanks proposed an incentive program to encourage existing and prospective business owners to install new signs, awnings and window decals.
The program would allow the authority to match the funds businesses spend to make upgrades.
“It is a reward for sprucing up things,” Eubanks said.
Each donation could be up to $2,000 per licensed business operating at a location within the tax district. The program would cap at $20,000 spent by the authority each year.
Business owners would submit an application with receipts to the authority to be reimbursed for 50 percent of the costs. It is still unclear if an applicant can be preapproved or must wait until after the installation is complete.
Buildings not taxed by the authority, such as government facilities and churches, would be exempt, Cauthorn said.
The authority will finalize guidelines and set a start date for the program at the next meeting.
The board meets the second Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at Marietta City Hall.