B.I.D. process is unfair

To the editor:
Re: “B.I.D. group charges much opposition is from outside district” (news article by Aline Reynolds, Aug. 11)

These numbers are not adding up. There are 280 tax lots in the proposed district. Only 124 responded and only 99 approved the proposal. That’s only a 44 percent response rate and only 35 percent approval. This certainly does not constitute a majority.

Further, if approving owners represent only 30 percent of the assessed value of the area, there is not a majority by this factor either.

It is particularly unfortunate that the New York State law that enables the formation of business improvement districts does not suitably recognize the impact of a B.I.D. in areas that are predominantly residential.

The legislation reads: “Owners of real property within the district opposed to the plan have 30 days to file objections at the municipal clerk’s office. If either the owners of 51 percent of the assessed valuation of all benefited real property or at least 51 percent of the owners of real property within the district file objections, the district will not be established.”

This puts the onus on property owners who do not favor a B.I.D., and who may not be otherwise organized or funded, to launch a campaign equally as intense and expensive as the city-backed business proponents to actively solicit objections and affidavits and to lobby against its formation. Further, as opposed to the allowed 18 months for B.I.D. formation granted to the proponents, the opponents get 30 days!

This legislation needs change.
Zella Jones