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u : 3 January 2006 • 4:59AM -0500

[UC] The Knights Who Say NID
by Benseraglio2


Bring me a shrubbery. Or your neighborhood will be very very unsafe. If you
take my meaning. Nudge nudge wink wink.

Civilized countries have governments to provide such amenities as safety,
health care, public education, public transportation, rail systems, etc. Here we
have baroque variations on the Mafia, with safety ambassadors going about
collecting the juice. Our government is too busy bombing faroff lands and spying
on the Quakers and Catholic Workers to be bothered with such stuff. And so we
have private health care, "faith based initiatives", private social security
(if Dubya has his way), private police systems, private University buses, gated
communities, for those who can pay, and devil take the hindmost.

On second thought, bring me a mackerel. A nice mackerel.

Ross Bender

In a message dated 1/2/2006 2:16:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
laserbeam@spee... writes:
MLamond@aol.... wrote:
> One other thing I'd like to mention:   some on this list have speculated
> there is some sinister reason for this to be called a "NID" (Neighborhood
> Improvement District) rather than a "BID" (Business Improvement District)
> seems to be the better-known title for these projects across the country.  
> Speculation has suggested that there's some plot to rope everybody into
> something, while *pretending* to involve only landlords.   In actuality,
the PA
> enabling legislation allowing the creation of a district calls the district
a NID,
> not a BID - so anyone organizing one in PA under this law must call it a

meanwhile, ucd's website says:

   The Pennsylvania law uses the term Neighborhood
   Improvement District (NID). A Business Improvement
   District (BID) is a generic term applicable in all states.
   There is no substantive difference.

confusing... maybe this will help.

the PA law says that a NID is the generic term. and that
there are different types of NIDs. it could be a BID
(business) or a RID (residential) or a INID (institutional),
etc., and that would affect who would be assessed, what
powers ucd would have, etc.

see [under section 3, definitions]:

"Neighborhood improvement district."  A limited geographic
area within a municipality, in which a special assessment is
levied on all designated property, other than tax-exempt
property, for the purpose of promoting the economic and
general welfare of the district and the municipality,
hereinafter referred to as NID. Such districts shall be
referred to generally as neighborhood improvement district
(NID) and specifically as: business improvement district
(BID); residential improvement district (RID); industrial
improvemen district (IID); institutional improvement
district (INID); or mixed-use improvement district (MID)
depending on the type district established. A designated
property may not be included in more than one neighborhood
improvement district.

the law also says:

   Where the district established is a BID, the NIDMA [ucd]
   shall have the authority to exempt residential property
   owners from any special assessment fees levied.

the confusion seems to be arising over ucd's calling it a
NID, without specifying whether it's a BID type or a RID
type or a INID type, while describing this NID in terms that
include characteristics of a BID and a RID, in terms that
include costs/benefits of a INID.

in various places, there's talk about how
businesses/commercial properties would be assessed, with the
possibility of residents being assessed -- mixing a BID with
a RID. there's also the fact that costs/benefits apply to
institutions -- mixing a BID with a INID.

- - - -


in the 7 dec ucity review, lewis wendell says:

    NID will not include an assessment on owner-occupied
    residential properties. Although, he did point out later
    in the meeting, if a NID Board deemed this a wise path,
    it could propose it. The UCD Board's present opinion is
    that they will would like residential owners to
    contribute, voluntarily.

in the 9 nov steering committee minutes:

    Mr. Adelman informed the group that the UCD Board's
    opinion is that they still would like the residential
    owners, and those with under four units to contribute,
    but that would need to be in a less formal request, such
    as the current annual appeal.

and the 8 dec dp reported:

    under UCD's current plan, the pending taxation will only
    apply to owners of more than four units in the district,
    but this number may change.

at the 9 nov steering committee:

   Mr. Karp voiced concern regarding the commercial landlords
   accepting a tax burden when the largest land owners are
   the universities, who as non-profits do not pay real
   estate taxes.

- - -

further confusion arises when it's pointed out by ucd that
"everyone will benefit." people naturally start asking "then
why shouldn't everyone pay?" "how did ucd come up with the 4
or more unit cut-off?" "if non-profits who are also the
largest landowners aren't assessed, but benefit, how are the
costs/benefits calculated and compared to what they would
voluntarily pay?" etc. since this NID proposal did not arise
from any community-supported mandate, but rather as a
top-down vision, it's understandably hard for many to
understand why, exactly, it's being made, and why at this time.

in general, it's a shame that there are these ambiguities,
still, about this proposal (along with other ambiguities --
how the NID will be governed, what oversight the community
will have, procedures for NID approval), and that the
community is not better informed. because it makes it
impossible for anyone to evaluate such a moving target, and
on such short notice.

[aka ray]

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