While a BID might be a good idea, the case has yet to be made for it, and its backers should have done a better job of explaining the concept before bringing it to the Common Council. Further, the BID should be subject to a referendum of business owners it would levy: there’s already been too much in the way of top-down decrees in Kingston. Making businesses have to jump through any sort of hoop to pass on the idea is insulting at best and chicanery at worst. Let’s, for a change, trust that people actually can judge what’s good for them and what isn’t.
I think two things should happen with this. First, the BID establishment should be accompanied by the beginning of the equalization of the homestead/non-homestead tax rates, which may be the biggest sandbag around city businesses. Failing that, I might reverse the proposed tax mechanism and charge businesses the $1 annual assessment and homeowners the 20 percent extra on their tax rate. Second, it should be thought about that since a healthy business climate is good for the whole city, the things the BID seeks to accomplish may be worthy of being funded by the entire city, as part of the city budget.
* * *
We hope Kingston Cares’ Megan Weiss, honored Tuesday by the Common Council with a Pride of Kingston Award for her efforts on behalf of Midtown’s kids, enjoyed Megan Weiss Day. We will mark it (yesterday, Oct. 5, by the time you read this) by lauding her for the gifts of energy and compassion she’s given to so many kids. We make heroes out of a lot of people in our society who aggrandize themselves, but Megan is a hero for making others feel better about themselves. The good she does will echo for decades to come and the lives she’s touched will touch countless other lives. Thanks, Megan, and congratulations!