Council votes to allow city treasurer's office to collect BID fee's
The city treasurer's office will now collect the fee's for the Business Improvement District that will go toward street cleaning, security, and beautification projects.
Tuesday night, the Chattanooga City Council voted 5-4 to allow the fee collection.
The city will charge a collection fee of two percent.
Councilman Chip Henderson made an amendment last week to review the collection process after one year.
Chattanooga City Attorney Phil Noblett says the city cannot force those in the district to pay the fees. He says that responsibility lies with the BID Board.
But several renters in the district are concerned the fees will add up and hurt them.
Amy Donahue with River City Company says that's not the case.
"We've had several property owners that have said I could pass this on, but I'm not going to. We've had other property owners say my leases won't allow me to do this. So, they will absorb it all. It probably isn't an absorbent amount. And we really were intentional about it from the get go, to make sure whatever was decided would not overburden the real estate,” Donahue said.
Originally, Hamilton County was supposed to collect the fees.
However, the recent lawsuit from several property owners in the district made the commission reverse their decision.
The lawsuit claims the city did not file the BID in a legal manner.
Donahue and River City say they are willing to make changes to the BID over time in order to benefit everyone involved.
"If you have questions or concerns, we are here. We will answer questions, listen to you because again, we know this will bring great benefit to the downtown area,” Donahue said.
The district hopes to have these services in place by early 2020 and is still putting together the BID board.
Donahue tells Channel 3, anyone in the district is eligible to apply.
Click here for more information on the BID.