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Old Town Business holding additional forums for its proposed Business Improvement Service District

Map of the proposed Old Town Business Improvement Service District (via Old Town Business)

With the clock running down on a rushed timeline, Old Town Business (OTB) is conducting more outreach sessions today, Friday, on its proposed business improvement district.

The group conducted information sessions yesterday (Thursday) and scheduled one for this morning and another for 1 p.m. along the ALX Community Waterfront at 201 N. Union Street.

“We’re running into a deadline for this year’s tax calendar,” Scott Shaw, a managing partner of Alexandria Restaurant Partners, previously told ALXnow. “We’re compressing this more than we want to, we’re aware of that.”

The group of local business owners are trying to gather 60% support from hundreds of Old Town restaurants, shops and other retailers by mid-March. Organizers are operating on a crunched timeline to get their proposal on the City Council docket this month, before the city sets the tax rate for the upcoming budget, which must be approved in May.

OTB wants the effort to be funded by a 10-cent addition to real property tax rates for businesses within the proposed district.

“For example, a parcel that has a taxable value of $700,000 that currently pays $7,770 in annual property taxes would be billed an additional $700 for a new total of $8,470,” OTB explains in its petition. “Parcels of real property which are either exempt from real property taxes or strictly residential in use, as determined by the City on an annual basis, shall not be billed the annual BISD tax.”

Those funds would then go toward events, marketing, business support services, advocacy and more.

Per the proposal, the Business Improvement Service District (BISD) would be overseen by 13-to-15 board members, all of whom would be approved by City Council. Board meetings would also be open to the public.

A message from Old Town Business on its BISD efforts (via Old Town Business)

via Old Town Business