The Terrace Downtown Improvement Association (TDIA) and the downtown property owners being taxed to support its efforts took a step toward more communication and cooperation at a meeting held last night.
“The end result was good,” said Progressive Ventures owner Lael McKeown who attended the meeting.
“My understanding is that after the meeting TDIA met and decided they would go ask council to stop the process so there could be more consultation.”
A lack of communication between TDIA and the property owners became apparent when businesses opposed a plan by the improvement association to double its current budget of $60,000, something that would mean an increase in the taxes businesses already pay.
That increase would take the form of a new five-year taxation bylaw replacing one that runs out the end of the month.
Property owners first heard of the proposed tax increases through a letter from the city informing them of the proposed new bylaw, a matter that lead them to wonder why they hadn’t heard first from the TDIA.
“Everybody in the meeting was supportive of TDIA and what they’ve done but property owners particularly felt that more specifics, more vision, more info has to be put out to the taxpayers before they can agree to this,” said McKeown.
She’s hoping the association will ask city council to stop the bylaw process when it meets next Monday.
Under the bylaw process now underway, property owners have until Dec. 17 to register their objections or approval of the proposed new bylaw. Not responding to the city counts as a vote for the bylaw.
McKeown added that it was evident that there was not a lot of good communication between the city and TDIA.
“Nobody really had an idea of what the parameters are. What is TDIA’s and the city’s and the property owners’ responsibilities has never really been spelled out,” she said, adding that they all have the same goal and need to work together better.