Sarasota News Leader

05/17/2013

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IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED … Shoppers abound on St. Armands Circle during the height of season. Photo by Rachel Hackney ST. ARMANDS BID WANTS A VOTE DO-OVER ON ITS SPECIAL TAX By Stan Zimmerman City Editor Only 65 entities — people, trusts or corporations — own all the commercial property on St. Armands Circle. They charge high rents, and very often their commercial tenants pay the property taxes, too. The St. Armands Business Improvement District (BID) raised about $220,000 per year to beautify the shopping destination and provide enhanced maintenance. Now the chairman of the about-to-be-defunct special taxing district wants another vote. On Monday, May 20, he A decade ago, the owners decided to impose plans to explain to the Sarasota City Commisan extra assessment on themselves of 2 mills sion how that should be done. to cover the cost of improvements to the public property in the district. AND A PECULIAR VOTE IT IS But last month, the same 65 decided not to continue the 10-year experiment; by a winning margin of almost two-thirds, they voted to discontinue that extra assessment. Under the established procedure, a St. Armands Circle property owner would receive a ballot in the mail; then, he could vote "No" in one of two ways: either mark the ballot and

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