Letters: Property owners are paying

Levy collected by city with the property tax from commercial property owners.

Editor, The News:

Re: Property owners should pay (Letters, June 12).

I am always happy when people express their opinion; we are so lucky to live in a free society.

But it is our responsibility to make sure the information we provide is correct and, unfortunately, Cherryl Katnich communicated incorrect information.

The Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association is a non-profit association, led by a volunteer board of directors and funded by a special business improvement association levy, only paid by commercial property owners, who own properties within the DMRBIA area.

Yes, the levy is collected by the City of Maple Ridge with the property tax, but clearly noted as “BIA levy” and, again, only collected from those commercial property owners noted previously.

The city distributes the collected levy, which is the DMRBIA budget on an annual basis.

The DMRBIA area is a geographical area, clearly outlined between 222nd and 230th streets between Brown Avenue and Lougheed Highway.

This area includes about 300 property owners and about 700 businesses.

The DMRBIA goes back to its members every five years to confirm approval of the continuation of the association from its members; a five-year bylaw has to be approved by council to continue BIA for another five-year mandate.

The Facade Improvement Program is just one of many programs developed by the DMRBIA to improve the overall streetscape of downtown Maple Ridge, and this particular program has been very successful for the past six years.

Starting in 2009 until and including 2014, we received 63 applications, approved 59, of which 57 completed.

DMRBIA granted a total of about $240,000 over those six years. Just to put that in perspective, that $240,000 initiated a total of approximately $5 million of facade improvements in downtown Maple Ridge.

The city houses a lot of older buildings, most of which really could uses some sprucing up. Hopefully people are noticing all the positive changes that have happened and will continue to happen, throughout the years in downtown Maple Ridge.

New facades, fresh paint, new awnings, banners, flower baskets, bike racks, community Christmas Tree, new lights, sidewalk improvements, signage, murals, events, free promotions and the list goes on and on.

Happy to report to you, that as Ms. Katnich stated, “Property owners should pay.”

They are.

Ineke Boekhorst, executive director

Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association

 

 

Twice that

Editor, The News:

Re: Property owners should pay (Letters, June 12).

Cherryl Katnich is complaining about business owners getting grants from the city to improve their business appearance.

The point of this grant is to make the city businesses look good for all to benefit.

The implication is that Ms. Katnich feels that her taxes are paying for these improvements.  That is not correct.  Businesses pay property taxes of over twice that of homeowner.

Dan Banov

Maple Ridge

 

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