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$70M for foundation to help Kalamazoo fix budget, cut taxes

Kalamazoo is getting $70 million from philanthropists and others to be used to create a foundation to help solve the city’s budget problems and cut property taxes.

The Kalamazoo City Commission decided Thursday to move forward with the idea of creating the Foundation for Excellence. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports city leaders secured donations from Kalamazoo philanthropists William Johnston and William Parfet, among others, over a 3-year period.

Officials expect the foundation would be fully-funded by 2020, so revenue from investments would be available for long-term. It would allow Kalamazoo to cut property taxes starting in January and spend $10 million annually on “aspirational” projects.

Kalamazoo is known for creative philanthropic efforts. The city’s anonymously funded Kalamazoo Promise program has paid college tuition of students for more than a decade.  (AP)

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