The Santa Ana City Council Monday night approved a new downtown business tax, replacing a controversial special property tax that had divided downtown businesses and brought the issue of gentrification to the fore, according to the Voice of OC.
Under a settlement agreement, the city will for three years provide $400,000 annually for Downtown Inc.’s cleaning and security services. The proceeds of the new district will be equally split between two groups: Downtown Inc. and the Santa Ana Business Council, a group composed of business owners who opposed the special property tax and are likely to conduct more Latino-oriented promotions. The revenue from the new tax district, approximately $250,000 annually, is far less than the revenue generated by the previous property tax district.
So as I understand it we are going to have a split marketing effort in Downtown Santa Ana with one group promoting the area to hipsters and the gay community and the other to paisas.
I spoke to a fellow yesterday who had vehemently opposed the PBID – the unfair property tax that robbed Downtown Santa Ana property owners and gave their money to Downtown Inc. I thought he would oppose the new deal but he liked it. The Santa Ana Business Council can now spend some of this money without having to run it through Irv Chase and his homies.
I think this is all pretty goofy. Businesses should do their own marketing and if some of them want to band together they should do so on a voluntary basis. Charging extra business license fees is not fair to those businesses who don’t want to play ball.
But it is what it is and now we are going to have a stark contrast in terms of what the new Santa Ana Business Council will be advocating versus what Downtown Inc. will be promoting. This schizophrenic approach might work out – or it just might make for some odd contrasts.
I suppose this is the best we can expect from our lame Santa Ana City Council which is full of government workers but very short on Council Members with business experience. Here is what Roman Reyna and David Benavides have been up to in our Downtown of late: