City Leaders Look to Extend, Expand DavenportNOW - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

City Leaders Look at Extend, Expand DavenportNOW

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It's a program designed to grow the city. And now city leaders are looking at growing the DavenportNOW program.

They say it has been so successful, they want to not only extend it, but also expand it. They would call it the College Cornerstone, a way to help families pay for college and help the city grow at the same time.

Right now the program gives rebates to people who buy, build or renovate homes, increasing the property value by five-thousand dollars. Those who do that get rebates, 50 percent of property taxes. They come in a lump sum or paid over 10 years, and homeowners can spend those any way they want.

This change would extend those payments for 13 years, if they are applied to some kind of 529 College Savings plan. City leaders say that's attractive for families and a way to attract families to Davenport. "You can go sink some foundation in the ground somewhere else and you'll end up with some cured concrete," says City Administrator Craig Malin. "Concrete cures just as well in Davenport as in other places, and the difference is, we're gonna be the very cornerstone for your family's success."

Aldermen are making it very clear they don't want the city to get into the investment business. City leaders and staffers will not give investment advice. The program will just issue checks, and if families can prove previous checks were put into 529 accounts, they can receive payments for an extra three years.

Combined with the school district's Dual Graduation program, city leaders say this lets you send your kids to college without having to pay for it.

So far the DavenportNOW program has approved more than 700 applications and issued more than 4.6 million dollars in rebates. Council members will vote on this expansion next week.

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