Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Don’t expect BID to give up revenue

To the editor:

In the recent article about the downtown Business Improvement District by Chad Cain, several supports of the BID stated in effect that:

• The BID was not involved in the amendment that requires all property owners within its boundaries to be members, even though more than 60 percent of them chose not to be; and that:

• This amendment is somewhat troublesome to them, too.

At the time that the city was considering the adoption of the BID, it was common knowledge that BID proponents were unhappy that state law made BID membership voluntary and that they were seeking to eliminate the right of property owners to opt out.

And, for all of the crocodile tears that the amendment is troublesome to the BID, they know that the amendment, if it stands, will add over $500,000 per year to their budget. I know how sad I’d be if I had an extra half million dollars a year to spend.

If the BID is troubled by the amendment that forces the majority of downtown property owners to join it against their will, then the BID ought vote to dissolve, then refile a petition to create a BID that is involuntary.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to do the right thing.

Because the majority of property owners have rejected membership in the BID, I don’t think BID could meet the signature requirements for a petition. And, if they did, it would be hotly contested by those owners who opted out rather than fight the adoption of the original BID.

Those with vest interest in the BID will never voluntarily give it up.

Alan Scheinman


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