(BLOOMINGTON) – Mayor John Hamilton and the Bloomington Common Council invite community members to participate in a discussion of a Sustainability Investment Fund and the local income tax that would support it. The interactive public event convening local sustainability leaders, City department heads, and council members takes place Thursday, March 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Mill (642 North Madison Street).
This is the first of many chances for residents to share ideas and concerns about a fund supporting the sustainable and equitable development of our community as it confronts climate change. After a brief introductory presentation, those attending will be encouraged to rotate among a number of stations to engage with subject-matter experts. Stations will be dedicated to such topics as the City’s comprehensive response to climate change, how the fund might support social equity, and the possibilities the fund could create in areas from transit and other mobility options to sustainable housing and green infrastructure, among others.
A light meal will be provided, and reservations are not required to attend this free event. A video recording of the presentation will be available on the city’s website and on CATS after the event, and residents may also share comments and suggestions about the Sustainability Investment Fund at this online form.
“The investments we make and the actions we take during this decade to protect our environment and the well-being of our people are critical, as our residents have also repeatedly told us,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “This fund will help our community be resilient in the face of unprecedented changes, and enhance the quality of life for everyone who wants to live here.”
Proposed by Mayor Hamilton January 1 and elaborated upon in his February 20 State of the City address, the fund would provide means to foster equitable and sustainable economic development as the community confronts the local effects of climate change. Over the next decade, a proposed 0.5% increase in the local income tax for Monroe County residents would raise approximately $160 million (of which City and County government would each receive approximately $80 million) for sustainable economic development. In order to be adopted, the tax must be passed by the Local Income Tax Council, which comprises the Bloomington Common Council, the Monroe County Council, and the Stinesville and Ellettsville Town Councils.
“We can approach this climate challenge as an opportunity for positive transformation, investing in a more inclusive and sustainable future,” said Common Council member Matt Flaherty. “I believe we can do what’s right for the planet and for future generations while also better meeting the needs of our residents today.”
This event will kick off a series of public engagement and input sessions about the Sustainability Investment Fund, the schedule of which will be posted at a dedicated page on the City’s website.