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East Tosa business owners clash over BID

Aug. 11, 2014

As one group of property owners in East Tosa hopes to establish a business improvement district to promote and enhance North Avenue, another is trying to stop it, worried about the additional charge on their property tax bills.

At a public hearing Monday night, the opposition was louder, but the Wauwatosa Plan Commission approved the East Tosa BID's initial operating plan. Members of the Plan Commission said they hoped the businesses would come to a compromise on the details of the district to gain more support before the plan goes before the Budget and Finance Committee next month. The proposal would also have to be approved by the Common Council.

The plan could be stopped in its tracks if businesses collect opposing signatures from owners representing at least 40 percent of the assessed value in the district — a process they have already begun.

The district would stretch from 60th Street to Wauwatosa Avenue, which includes a total taxable assessed value of about $32.8 million. Property owners in the district would have to pay $3.50 per $1,000 of assessed value to the BID, with a $550 minimum and $5,000 maximum. Residences and non-profits would be exempted.

Under the proposal, the BID would have a 2015 operating budget of about $110,000. That includes about $57,000 for staff and administrative expenses, $27,000 for banners and street furniture, and $26,000 for marketing.

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