Updated: 09/03/2014 9:48 PM
Created: 09/03/2014 10:54 AM WDIO.com
The hotel project planned for Superior's waterfront continues to move forward as the city council gave yet another go-ahead Tuesday night.
The council passed a resolution approving a tax incremental plan. The city's planning director, Jason Serck, explained the plan establishes the tax increment district #13, which includes both residential and commercial buildings, such as the Perkins and Richard I. Bong Historical Center on Highway 2.
ZMC Hotels plans to build a 80-room, Hampton-affiliated hotel between Perkins and the Richard I. Bong Historical Center.
Serck said those in the district will pay their base taxes, which will go to their usual allotted spaces, but now the increase in their taxes will stay in their district.
But the resolution Tuesday was not passed without opposition. Dr. Zamira Simkins, Ph. D, an associate professor at UW-Superior, said she did some research surrounding the hotel's impact with some of her economic colleagues.
She said with the tax increment system, over $2.2 million in tax revenue will be diverted away from local schools and roads.
"Therefore, we object...because we believe using such a significant amount of public funds to subsidize a private developer constitutes a complete misuse of taxpayers money," she explained.
Simkins said their research numbers show that if the city helps finance this project, the city will incur a loss.
Following her presentation at the council meeting Tuesday, councilors passed the resolution without discussion.
Serck said the city has been using the same numbers to figure out their economic projections for years and the projects have turned out successful. He said they know they are doing it correctly.
Now the Joint Review Board must approve the resolution. The board meets Thursday, September 4.
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