DUMBO BID plans for assessment increase as the neighborhood and costs grow
DUMBO is growing and the BID is taking steps today to ensure we can meet the needs of this exciting neighborhood. In the coming years, the neighborhood will see thousands of new residential units, major redevelopment of the Watchtower properties and its parking lots, and increasing numbers of companies flocking to new office buildings. In fact, with the opening this year of Empire Stores – the square footage included in our district has grown by 400,000 square feet – and our services are increasing accordingly. We now have new destinations for visitors, new public spaces, a new school at Dock Street and more is planned for the future. At the same time, the costs of maintaining our current levels of service are rising significantly as a result of the New York State minimum wage increase from $10 per hour to $15 per hour and other factors.
To meet these challenges, the DUMBO Improvement District Board of Directors has voted to pursue a funding boost through an assessment increase. The total assessment in FY2018 is $835,000. The Board has decided to allow for an increase to $1,150,000 by FY21 (with a cap of $1,250,000 cap to be authorized by the New York City Council). The new levels will be phased in over three years. Property owners will see an average increase in their assessments from $0.22 in FY17 to $0.26 per square foot in FY21. These increases will cover minimum wage increases mandated by NYS law and other cost of service escalations. At the same time, the BID will experience growth in assessable square footage at Empire Stores development and elsewhere, reducing the burden for existing property owners.
All changes to assessment level caps requires\ the approval of the City Council. The City Council Finance Committee will hold a public hearing in consideration of this and other Business Improvement Districts’ assessment increases on October 17, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. The hearing will be held in the City Council Committee Room, 2nd Floor, City Hall, New York, NY 10007.
While we continue to operate as efficiently as possible, rising operating and sanitation expenses in addition to future infrastructure construciton compel us to consider this assessment increase in order to maintain our high level of service, which has proven to be so vital to the success of our district. At this time, the BID Board of Directors felt that is as important as ever to create a cleaner, safer, more beautiful and vibrant district.