The good news is a new lot of the growth in taxable property in the community is coming from the downtown area. Since 2014, the taxable value in the downtown has grown by $26,831,204. Assuming today’s tax rate of $19.70, these properties are paying $419,247.95 more in property taxes in 2018-2019 than they did in 2014. These funds have been used by the city in three ways. First, it was part of the reason that the tax rate dropped last year from $20.07 to today’s rate of $19.70. Second, the increase in the homestead exemption (the $394.00 savings that every single-family home owner gets if they filed for the homestead) was paid in part by the increased values in the downtown. Finally, the city is spending (and paying cash) nearly $1,500,000 more annually fixing roads, buildings and replacing equipment than it did in 2014. This has occurred while reducing the tax rate due in part to the increased value in the downtown.