Asheville City Council is set to tackle the issue of a Business Improvement District — a services non-profit funded by a special tax district in downtown — tonight. Here’s a roundup of information and perspectives on this controversial topic.
What is the BID?
Place your BIDs This article from March details the BID proposal, how it came about, and who its architects are.
Behind the backlash
Plan for downtown Asheville Business Improvement District faces skepticism A blog post detailing some of the opposition and doubts about the BID proposal.
City Council gets an earful on BID At the May 29 Council community meeting, BID critics showed up in force to voice their problems with the proposal.
BID critics come out for forum A week ago, BID critics organized a forum to express their grievances and organize a protest at tonight’s Council meeting.
Arguments for the BID
Asheville Grown Business Alliance The AGBA believes the BID is a way to pursue long-term goals “somewhat insulated from the changing whims of politics.”
Council member Marc Hunt Hunt said he supports the BID, feeling it will benefit downtown, but wants its board appointed by the city.
Asheville Downtown Association The ADA asserts that the BID “will make downtown safer.”
Arguments against the BID
Group of downtown residents A an ad-hoc group of downtown residential property owners released a list of their problems with the BID, claiming “that the vast majority of owners of residential and commercial property downtown have not had any say” in its formation.
Firestorm Cafe Asserting that “our community is not a mall,” the worker-owners of Firestorm Cafe denounced the BID as “a misappropriation of public funds for private gain.”
People Advocating Real Conservancy The neighborhood advocacy group PARC criticized the BID as “an unelected board [that] would collect tax money and spend it as they wish.”
What do you think?
An informal online poll on the issue has over 100 responses so far. Or you can let us know your thoughts on the BID in the comments below.
Photo by Max Cooper