Committee Approves Arena Authority, Louisville Downtown Management Agreement

by Devin Katayama on March 15, 2012

The Louisville Metro Council’s Budget Committee has approved an amendment that gives the Arena Authority a break on fees it owes the Louisville Downtown Management District.

The authority has been tied up in state court over whether the KFC Yum Center is an assessable entity that would owe the Downtown Management annual fees.

“From my view they are all taxpayer dollars being spent for two, what I view as, public agencies in essence to fight with each other,” said Council President Jim King.

Only public entities or agencies are exempt from owing the Downtown Management District fees for up keeping the area. Now King wants that to include the Arena Authority.

“The best result is the result I think we’re very close to and that is making sure the ordinance is clear that the arena is not assessable,” said King

But, he said, at the same time the arena board should enter into a contract.

Last year the arena paid $32,000 dollars in assessed fees under protest. This year, and after the arena’s completion, it would owe over $200,000, but that is being challenged in court.

Under the new agreement, the arena would be exempt from being assessed, but would pay fees to Downtown Management determined by its Tax Increment Financing worth, which is currently under half of what was expected this year.

The agreement would start arena fees at $30,000 and it would increase as the TIF increases. This would give Downtown Management incentive to help the arena because its fees would be determined on the arena TIF growth, said King.

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