Downtown BID Protest Petition Making Rounds
By Jon A. Brake
Business owners in the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID)
have a right to determine if they want
the City imposed tax.
For years a large group of owners have asked the City Commission for
the right to vote. Each time they were
rejected. The Commission would consider the BID fees each year during budget hearings.
In a letter dated September 25, Karen Davis, Director of Community Development
said: "It has been
determined that annual passage of an ordinance levying the fees is necessary under State law."
Davis went on to say: "State Statute (K.S.A. 12-1781, as amended), which
created the Downtown BID, allows for
the preparation of a protest petition that would dissolve the District."
The district has 45 days from publication of the ordinance levying the
annual fees to file the petition. The
publication date was October 8th.
Fees for the district run: $129 for 1-500 sq. ft. in the Downtown Core
area to $80 for Periphery area and $70 for
The top fees were $610 for 10,000-20,000 sq. ft in the Downtown Core
area and $383 Periphery area to $335 in
The Ordnance caused the Manhattan Municipal Court to issue many arrest
warrants each year. The Riley
County Police Department is used to serve the warrants and make arrests.
Assistant City Attorney Chasity Nicoll has sent out many letters quoting
the Ordinance: "It shall be unlawful for
any person who is the owner of operator of any business required to pay a fee pursuant to this Ordinance to
continue operation of said business after said fee has become past due and remains unpaid."
The letter also stated: "Any person convicted of a violation of this
section shall be fined in a sum no greater than
$500. Each day of said violation shall constitute a separate offense."
The Petition can be read at Beltone Hearing Aid Center, Pop's Collectables
and Mr. P's Party Outlet.