Owensboro banks are taking a cue from the City and Countys controversial decision to raise taxes to fund the downtown development plan. A group of six banks has just committed to a $2.5 million loan pool for private investors looking to renovate buildings downtown. Insurance tax premiums are officially going up to pay for the downtown development initiative. Although the city and countys decision is controversial, some say people should already be seeing benefits. Economic Development Corporation representatives say now that the public is committed, the private sector will be more willing to invest. Plus they have the additional committment from six banks from six local banks. The loan pool only applies to investors intending to renovating existing downtown buildings -- not those who want to build something brand new. They say some of these old buildings are perfect for the downtown vision; they have retail space on the bottom and residential potential on top. Although the tax hike is unpopular, EDC representatives say theyve already been approached by several private contractors. The insurance tax will go up two percent starting July first of this year and another two next July. That means paying higher taxes on all insurance premiums, exluding health. Once the city and county have raised the money for the project, the tax will go down.