A Community Improvement District (CID) is where if over 50% of property owners representing at least 75% of the real estate's valuation of a certain corridor agree to it, then a "self-tax" can be imposed. In the case of the proposed Hwy 278 CID, that new tax would be 5 mils which would translate to an increased tax burden of hundreds, or more likely, thousands of dollars for many property owners in the affected area.
We now see a "full-court press" of sorts going on with this thing. Obviously, the Chamber and the Office of Economic Development are all over it, while the city of Covington has already given $25,000 to help facilitate this thing. And now they keep changing the boundaries of the CID, presumably to help get it passed. The members on the board of directors for the CID's non-profit group? The usual suspects - old money and power elite.
To me, there's just something quintessentially un-American about a CID. It's majority (mob) rules. Can't afford an extra $1,500 in property taxes? "Tough shit, hombre! 50% plus one of your neighbors ( a lot of them corporations from out of state) have said yes, so you better get ready to cough it up!"
Are we not already paying really high property taxes? This is just typical local level politics. "Let's help beautify the city and our main corridor," they say, "it's not that much more money!" Well, it IS that much more money, and it's the damn principle of the matter! It just isn't right, and it's particularly tough to stomach when one of the biggest property owners on 278 (who also happens to probably be the richest man in Newton Co.) is a huge supporter of this thing when he has easily the worst looking property on the entire road! Plus the man just refuses to cut the grass on said property. It's a major eyesore, and he's pushing for this thing.
Now the word is that after dropping $25K to help with this thing, the city is going to be providing people and resources to help go door-to-door to try sell this thing. That ain't right! No, that ain't right by a sight...
As someone said at one of the preliminary meetings for this thing, we're just basically spittin' in the wind until we do something about our schools. This is akin to putting a band-aid on a broken leg. It's a bad idea and won't do anything to help our city or county. But...someone's going to have to be the administrator or coordinator or whatever you want to call it for this thing. Apparently that's been as issue with other CIDs where most of the money is gobbled up by administrative and salary expenditures. Sounds like age-old C-town politics: somebody must need a job!
Click here for a Covington News article about it.