The Chattanooga Business Improvement District (BID) Board continues to deal with the thorny issue of whether non-profits should be exempt from assessments in the new downtown district.
The board on Wednesday took to Zoom to meet. During the open-to-the-public meeting, five members of the board discussed what would happen to churches and other non-profits.
Gordon Stalans brought up two separate churches whose parking lots are taxable, and the ramifications of that discovery.
“So we have to take that into account also because the ordinance does say that the ordinance does have to be exempt from property tax,” said Mr. Stalans. “The finance committee will meet and we’ll come back to the board with another recommendation. I’m hoping we can meet before next week’s meeting and get that taken care of.”
Board Chairman Steve Hunt laid out his plan for the immediate future. He also said there was no strict timeline the board needed to follow, pointing out that accuracy was more important than speed.
“We will want to make sure we follow up with each of those non-profits after the fact and before the board meeting so that they can get their list of questions together,” said Mr. Hunt. “I don’t know if there’s any burning timetable to adhere to.”
The topic of late fees was also discussed by the board. It was said that the city reached out to the board and asked what their policy on late fees would be during the pandemic. Officials said they would fall in line with the city government’s policies, and that those affected should be expecting to receive a statement soon.
“That was passed unanimously at the February board meeting. I think we’re all good on that front,” said Julia Bursch. “They’re preparing for sending a statement to those who had not paid city taxes or BID fees or anything that appeared on that bill.”
The chairman made sure to point out that the four non-profits who asked for an exemption will not be seeing this statement.
“For clarification, the four non-profits who have applied for a reduction or an exemption, we have suspended that. So they won’t get a notice.”