Greg Koehler: BID is ‘extremely unfair’ small business tax | SteamboatToday.com

Greg Koehler: BID is ‘extremely unfair’ small business tax

Dear downtown business owners:

Please be aware that you need to fill out a designation of elector form to be able to participate in the vote for the downtown Business Improvement District — BID. I urge you to fill out the form and vote "no" on the BID.

Projected funding for the proposed district will unfairly burden commercial property owners within the district and will create a huge property tax increase for property owners and small businesses in the proposed district. Nonproperty business owners — tenants — will likely experience a significant rent increase for space they rent downtown or on Oak Street, as the property owners pass these increased property taxes to their tenants.

Does your business need an additional competitive disadvantage against other similar businesses outside the district? Restaurants, retail, lodging and other businesses located within the proposed district will all have a significant property tax increase if the BID passes.

A BID is typically associated with heavily blighted and/or unimproved sections of downtown areas that are experiencing loss of business due to unfavorable conditions. Downtown Steamboat Springs if far from blighted and in fact is experiencing new growth and development with the RiverView project on the Yampa River, the recently completed Yampa Street improvements, the recently completed Oak Street sidewalk project and the Old Town Hot Springs remodel and addition. The Steamboat Springs Planning Department is midstream with the downtown master planning project.

Furthermore, in the proposed BID, there is no clearly defined plan for what, where and how the additional funding will be spent. Marketing and "branding" for downtown Steamboat is one claim but isn't this what the Chamber is already doing?

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The BID has already been voted down twice. Vote it down again and send a message that we don't want this tax increase or this BID. As business owners and downtown commercial property owners, we need to find a better way to assist in the efforts of Main Street Steamboat.

I urge you to vote “no” on the BID. It's an extremely unfair small business tax.

Greg Koehler

Rabbit Ears Motel

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