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Kalamazoo votes to incorporate Foundation for Excellence to address poverty

The Kalamazoo, Michigan City Commission has voted to create a foundation to replace a portion of its budget, retain a cut to its property tax and fund programs addressing poverty. The commission voted 5-2 in favor of documents outlining how the nonprofit "Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence" will be organized. Expected to raise $500 million by 2019, the foundation will be managed by a board of directors under the guidance of the City Commission and a statement of intent from initial donors William Parfet and William Johnston. 

An initial $70.3 million donation will keep the city afloat, allow the reduction of taxes by a third and fund programs to relieve poverty. After 2019, $500 million must be raised to endow the foundation, so its work can continue in perpetuity. In addition to stabilizing the city's budget and lowering tax rates, the foundation aims to allow the city to invest in infrastructure and neighborhood improvement projects.

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