Commission turns down payment terms for Principal Shopping District Special Assessment at Monday meeting
Former Mount Pleasant City Commissioner Jon Joslin thinks taxes for property owners in Downtown Mount Pleasant are "atrocious."
He spoke at a public hearing at the commission's regular meeting on July 10 to voice his opposition for the Principal Shopping District Special Assessment, which he also spoke out against in previous meetings. The motion to approve the roll and setting of payment terms for the special assessment, which was the seventh item on Monday's agenda, failed after two commissioners opposed the resolution.
PSD is funded by a special assessment levied within the district. The PSD Board then determines how the funds will be utilized. Typical projects include: maintenance and snow removal in parking lots, groundskeeping/landskeeping (including hanging baskets), power washing sidewalks and utilities (lighting in parking lots and irrigation).
Joslin said the projects, which are funded by TIFA dollars and the special assessment, only benefit a small number of the businesses in the community. He gave an example, referencing a previous fund given to the special assessment for fire safety.
"The $100,000 request that TIFA has made to do sprinkler installations," Joslin said. "The way I understand it, that would probably benefit four to five businesses — not the entire district. That's a $100,000 for three years. If we cut that amount in half, we're still benefitting some of these businesses and we'd reduce our taxes by half."
Daniel Pulver, the owner of Guys and Dolls Photography on E Chippewa Street, also spoke at the public hearing in opposition to the special assessment.
With the special assessment recommendation the way it currently is, Pulver said he does not see any benefits to his business. He listed off extra things businesses downtown receive funding for that he does not use, such as parking and snow removal.
"The money I'm spending in taxes, I don't see a direct benefit," Pulver said. "The biggest benefit of me being close to downtown is actually to other businesses. When I get people from all over the community for senior portraits or whatever else looking for a place to eat, I send them to businesses down there."
Joslin and Pulver encouraged the commission to turn down the special assessment and "return to the drawing board."
With the failed motion, the commission will seek a new recommendation from the PSD. The PSD will hold its next regular meeting at 8 a.m. on July 20.