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Everett Station area improvement plan set aside by city administration

EVERETT — Opposition from some landowners has put a blockade to a proposal to form a Business Improvement Area taxing district around Everett Station.
“It is clear that a significant number of property and business owners in the impacted neighborhood do not support the proposal that was presented to our city council,” said Deputy Mayor Nick Harper.
“City administration does not support a BIA moving forward in the Everett Station area at this time, and we have begun communicating that to concerned property owners,” Harper said.
 A Business Improvement Area forms when owners of businesses and properties agree to tax themselves and pool the money for mutual benefits such as parking, street décor, maintenance, promotion and security.
 Most properties in the proposed Everett Station District BIA would pay $0.67 per $1,000 of assessed value, plus $0.04 per square foot.
 This would generate almost $420,000, according to the nonprofit Everett Station District Alliance, which is leading the drive to form the improvement area.
 Opponents question that figure, as well as the percentage of business and property owners that the District Alliance says is in support of the BIA proposal.
 A prerequisite to forming a BIA is that controlling owners of at least 60 percent of the assessed value within its boundaries must agree to participate.
 One such business owner, Alan Mizuta of Built Design, said his analysis of petition signatures showed only about 11 percent support from controlling owners.
 “We (calculated) it every way we could,” Mizuta said. “We did everything we could to give them the benefit of the doubt.”
Brock Howell, the District Alliance’s executive director, said Mizuta is cherry-picking data to support his argument.
 “We believe we have 60 percent support. We are right now in the process of re-affirming our support,” Howell said. “We want to make sure our information is verified when we take it back to council.”
 Nobody knows when that might be.
 In the meantime, both city and District Alliance officials will continue meeting with Mizuta and other property owners to discuss their concerns, which also include staffing costs and finance structure.
 “In our experience, BIAs are only successful when they provide a high return on investment to the property and business owners affected,” Harper said. “This area represents a tremendous economic asset to our city, and we remain committed to supporting opportunities for growth and prosperity into the future.”



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