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Downtown Santa Monica Property Owners Vote to Renew Assessment District


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By Jorge Casuso

March 26, 2018 -- Property owners in Downtown Santa Monica last week overwhelmingly voted to preserve the ten-year-old Property-Based Assessment District (PBAD) that enhances maintenance, services and marketing for the area.

The vote Thursday to renew the PBAD -- which was supported by 91 percent of the 221 property owners who cast ballots -- was required under an unusual clause that allowed the owners to decide whether to renew or discontinue the district midway through its 20-year span.

The PBAD, which was originally approved in 2008 by 57 percent of the 256 Downtown property owners who voted, generated $3.6 million in new assessments ("New Downtown Assessment District Passes," July 11, 2008).

The money was used to boost maintenance, enhance marketing efforts and create an ambassador program to inform visitors and help keep the streets safe.

"We're committed to working closely with the Downtown community to protect and enhance the vitality of Downtown Santa Monica and Third Street Promenade," said Julia Ladd, who chairs the board of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM), the non-profit agency that runs the Downtown.

"Input from property ownership is pivotal to the process, and we're thankful for their feedback, participation, and support."

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Santa Monica's central business district, which has expanded to include new zones and businesses, welcomes more than 16 million people a year, Downtown officials said.
"Downtown Santa Monica is recognized around the world only by way of the diligent work and care of its community," says Kathleen Rawson, CEO of DTSM, Inc.

"As the district continues to evolve, it’s important for its people to recalibrate and validate a shared mission of promoting economic stability, growth, and community life."

Unlike the former Downtown Assessment District, which only taxed retail properties, the PBAD taxes office and apartment buildings, restaurants, hotels and properties owned by government and non-profit agencies.

The assessments are based on the property’s size, type of use and location in the district.

Throughout the renewal process, Downtown officials said, "a few property owners voiced concerns related to homelessness and public safety, as well as the need for infrastructure upgrades on the Promenade.

"DTSM, Inc. board members and staff will remain vigilant in working to address these key issues," they said in a release announcing the vote.


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