Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A taxing decision for downtown

Along with many others, the Tracy Press could become part of a new association that charges increased taxes in an effort to pay for area improvements and marketing.

I can hear the supply-siders now: Voluntarily increase your taxes in this economy? You crazy?

Possibly. It all depends on cost-benefit analysis.

If the business district does everything its consultant backer says it will, the higher fees could pay for themselves. But many merchants are wary, especially since the taxes — ostensibly charged to the property owners — will undoubtedly be paid by the tenants. And probably the customers.

I don't know enough about the proposed business area improvements to weigh in on this specific measure. I do know that the downtown needs a bigger profile, and this could be a means to that end.

But I also know that, since several city-owned properties would be subject to this tax, city government needs to consider the voices of the taxpayers who will foot part of the fees.

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