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City Predicts Gradual Upswing from Levee District Sales Tax

East Peoria business is booming; what that means for the future.
EAST PEORIA - East Peoria is booming with new businesses and the extra sales tax is good news for the future of the city’s economy.

Businesses poured into the city, especially in the new Levee District.

"Very different especially when you look at this was the old CAT factory site and now it's a vibrant shopping center," said Rick Swan, executive director of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce.

Most of the new businesses opened in the last year and a half including Costco where Shawn Elliott was out shopping.

"It’s really improved tremendously. It's given people a lot more opportunity to shop locally than going across the river," Elliott said. "Definitely save on gas and time and inconvenience of driving in traffic."

Others said they like shopping closer to home.

"To go into Peoria just took so much time," said shopper Janine Donahue.

Jaime Farrell said, "This is huge. Anytime I walk out I just, it's unbelievable to see all the development."

Swan said with that growth comes revenue the city didn't have before.

"Right now the sales tax, property taxes are just coming on the rolls, we're looking forward for a very, very good 2014," he said.

The city estimates a 20 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the first year of major growth.
That money has to be invested in the infrastructure built to support the new businesses, like roadways and stoplights. In the future the city hopes to use the extra money toward city services.

"I think you'll see 2014 stay somewhat level or grow a little and i think 15 will be very, very good," Swan said.

Aldi is the next business to open its doors. It has a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for January 24th. The much talked about Chick-Fil-A isn’t scheduled to open until 2015.
 
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