Petition calls for 12-cent property tax in Bishop Arts area

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The Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce wants the city to create a public improvement district in the neighborhood surrounding the Bishop Arts District. It would levy a 12-cent tax per $100 of valuation on commercial properties for seven years.

The tax would not apply to properties that are owner occupied and have a homestead exemption. Nonprofits also would be exempt. The district would tax about 800 properties and could raise a little more than $160,000 in the first year.

About a third of that money would be used for security, says chamber president Bob Stimson. Off-duty police or a private security company would be hired to beef up security in the area. The remainder would go toward improvements to streetscapes, including lighting, landscaping and sidewalks.

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At least 60 percent of property owners in the proposed North Oak Cliff Public Improvement District must sign a petition in favor of creating it before City Council could take it up. That’s a minimum of 484 signatures, and they must be collected by March 21.

Stimson says many of the area’s major property holders are on board with the district, including Jim Lake, Joe McElroy, David Spence, Victor Ballas, Mark Miranda, Craig Schenkel and Laura Sanchez.

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The proposed district (see map below) includes Jefferson from Polk to Zang. Zang from 12th to Greenbriar, and Davis from Windomere to Zang.

One property in the proposed district would be treated differently, and that’s the  Zang Triangle apartment complex on Zang near Colorado. That property has one of the highest valuations in Oak Cliff, around $23 million. It wouldn’t directly benefit from the money raised since it already has private security and improved sidewalks and streetscapes in place. So under the new district, Zang Triangle would pay 6 cents per $100.

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