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Creating Economic Improvement Districts

By Andrew O. Mouser, Manager, May 04, 2017

Creating Economic Improvement Districts can be a useful infrastructure financing strategy.

We are often asked by our clients, “How can we fund public infrastructure for a designated area?”  One option is an economic improvement district.

Municipalities (except townships) can establish economic improvement districts to assist financing public improvement projects such as roads, drainage, landscaping, lighting, parking facilities, sidewalks, residential improvements, utilities and other infrastructure.

A district has defined boundaries made up of multiple parcels and landowners.  For example, a district could be a residential subdivision that needs street repairs.

Similar to Barrett Law, economic improvement districts allow projects to be funded through special assessments on property owners who benefit directly.

Creating a district may be initiated by filing a petition with the unit’s legislative body.  Then, a public hearing must be held and the body may adopt an ordinance officially establishing the district.  Once established, the county treasurer adds the special assessment to each property owner’s tax bill.

Money in the economic improvement fund may be used for approved projects on a pay-as-you-go basis, to enter into leases or contractual agreements or to support revenue bonds.  These funds may also be used with other funds such as local income tax to supplement project funding.

Umbaugh can help you determine if an economic improvement district is an appropriate strategy.  As always, you can contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Information in this article was believed current as of the date of publication. As you know, changes occur frequently. The information presented is of a general educational nature. Before applying to your specific circumstances, please contact us at


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