Downtown Prince George may soon have a new lease on life.
City council started the process in motion Monday that could extend the taxation bylaw which generates funds the Downtown Business Improvement Area by seven years. The current bylaw, which was a five-year deal, expires in March.
“We ask for council’s support for renewing the bylaw,” said Downtown Prince George vice-president Kirk Gable. “This will be the seventh request. The first was in 1999, the last was in 2013 which was a five-year term.”
If the bylaw is passed, all properties in the C1 zoned area downtown will be taxed in order to fund the organization. The city collects the taxes and the funds are turned over the Downtown Prince George.
Gable and Downtown Prince George are asking the bylaw be a council initiative, subject to a petition against. This means council will start the bylaw process and unless a majority of downtown property owners oppose the bylaw, with a petition, it will be passed.
“With the successes were seeing, we have a pretty positive group that are interested in continuing,” Gable said. “We’ve heard no negative discussion on what we’re proposing.”
Coun. Garth Frizzell praised the organization for the work it has been doing promoting downtown.
“You’ve got skin in the game,” Frizzell said. “You’ve got rationale for getting it done and it benefits the entire community.”
City staff will bring the proposed bylaw back before council in January. All affected property owners will be notified by mail and, barring a successful petition against, the bylaw will be in place before the current one expires.