Panama City Commissioners Discuss CRA Restructuring

By: Dana Arquilla
By: Dana Arquilla

CRAs allow cities to keep property taxes from areas considered to be blighted. Wilson believes including Glenwood in one of the CRAs could boost the area's business and residential appeal.

However, the discussion quickly turned to who is financially responsible for the CRA boards.

Some feel this responsibility should fall into the hands of the commissioners themselves, others think the duties should be dispersed.

Mayor Lauren Degeorge received a standing ovation from citizens in the audience, when she contended the responsibility should lie with the commission. That way citizens can have a voice by voting those commissioners in or out of office.

Commissioner Katherine Hanline disagreed, saying she's rather see a new board oversee the CRAs, bringing new ideas for bigger and better changes.

Commissioner Pilcher seems to agree.

Pilcher said, “Why should I make decision for the people in Glenwood on what they need? They need to have this advisory come to this board where citizens who line in that area, come present it just like our partnership to the DIB and CRA board and let them make the decisions.”

The issue did not come up for a vote Tuesday.

Commissioners are still discussing it, and are urging citizens to contact their city commissioners with their opinions.

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