City Council Split on Ways to Revitalize Downtown - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City Council Split on Ways to Revitalize Downtown

YAKIMA, Wash.  --  The Yakima City Council is set to discuss a proposal that would give downtown property owners a tax break.  The council set a hearing date of August 1st.

The tax abatement proposal would keep property taxes at the same level, even if housing improvements were made to downtown buildings.  The break would last for 10 years.

City officials have been looking at similar revitalization projects in other cities across the state, who've already put a tax abatement measure in place.

There's some debate over when to bring more people downtown, though.  City Councilman Norm Johnson thinks condominiums should come first, then businesses will follow.

"We need ways of getting people downtown. We know there's not going to be a mall again." Johnson says.

But councilman Micah Cawley is hesitant to jump into anything.  "We really don't know a lot about (housing)  in downtown Yakima.  We haven't had housing here for a long time." Cawley adds.