The City Council finally did the right thing in abolishing the BID. it only took 15 years after overwhelming evidence that it was a boondoggle was produced. Is it too much to ask for them to be forthright regarding the funding of flower baskets and Christmas decorations?
In summary, the idea is to coerce the same poor business owners that have been victimized by the BID, to form a new deal BID so the city council can enrich their cronies from THAT pot of money.
We long ago provided the funding mechanism for these sorts of things — we have a 7-percent lodging tax on every room in town — except of course for the rogue AirBNB hosts who don’t have anyone making them pay.
There are roughly 188 rooms in the former BID area. At an average of $175/night in the season, the city pulls in a cool $32,900 per night. It is directly from our visitors in the downtown area.
The tax from one night would more than take care of the services deemed critical by the City Council — you know, the ones that the chamber used to take care of out of their pockets? Before we started giving them $150,000 per year for the same services.
Please stop treating the local business owners as though we are stupid — we work harder in a day than you can even imagine — but we are not stupid.
The money is there, they simply need the discipline to budget ethically.
Can they do it?