DLBA votes against assessment increase for Downtown businesses

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The Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) Board of Directors voted unanimously last week to not apply the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase from the past 12 months and instead freeze all special improvement district assessment rates on Downtown commercial property and business owners for the 2010-11 fiscal year in an announcement made by President and Chief Executive Officer Kraig Kojian.

Recognizing the continued financial hardship many are facing as a result of a nationwide downturn in the economy, DLBA’s governing body voted not to increase assessments for third consecutive year.

“We clearly understand that business and property owners are facing financial challenges, just as consumers are,” said Jim Anderson, DLBA Board Chair.  “The community leaders on our Board believe that our stakeholders will be best served by maintaining the freeze on assessments that was first implemented two years ago while striving to offer the continued many benefits of the DLBA.”

DLBA uses the variance identified from Tri-County (LA, Orange and Riverside/San Bernardino) CPI as a barometer to determine any adjustments to its annual assessment. Based on this standard, and not applying the CPI, the DLBA stakeholders will be saved approximately $50,000 over the next 15 months beginning in July, and in excess of $140,000 since the freeze was first implements in fiscal year 2008-09.

Kojian said that the DLBA remains dedicated to providing the same level of service and programs to its stakeholders – including the Clean & Safe Teams, marketing, economic development, capital improvement, advocacy on behalf of the Downtown business community, and special events to increase foot traffic.

“We are confident in our ability to continue delivering excellent programs and services with our current revenue base, and we remain committed to diversifying our operating budget by increasing community partnerships,” said Kojian.  “We empathize with our stakeholders and hope that DLBA’s action will help alleviate some of the pressure created by a challenging economic climate.”

DLBA’s recommendation to freeze assessments will be presented to the Long Beach City Council for its approval at an upcoming meeting.

For more information about the DLBA, visit www.downtownlongbeach.org or call (562) 436-4259.

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