Yakima Businesses Approve Tax for Downtown Expansion
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Committee for Downtown Yakima needed 60 percent of business owners to agree to a self-imposed tax in order to move forward with their efforts to expand, then improve, what is officially considered "downtown". They got it, but just barely.
More than a year ago, the Committee for Downtown Yakima asked city officials to consider the development of, what they called, the New Downtown Yakima Business Improvement District.
The project would be funded by taxes levied to businesses located in the new district. The CDY got signatures from 60.05% of property owners in the district.
The taxes will pay for maintenance and promotional programs, similar to those already provided to businesses in the current downtown district. The amount that each business would have to pay varies based on assessed value. The estimates range from $35 to almost $10,000.
City Councilman Norm Johnson says many of the property owners who did not sign the proposal represented non-profit organizations, even though non-profits were offered a 40-percent discount on the tax.
A public hearing on the proposed expansion is scheduled for August 6th.