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Proposed Tax Increase Applauded By Oak Cliff Business Owners

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Two meetings are being held in north Oak Cliff to discuss raising taxes on businesses in the area. While that news isn't shocking, believe it or not most businesses are onboard with the idea.

The tax money would go to create a privately managed special purpose area of Oak Cliff – called a Public Improvement District or PID.

Money raised would be spent on increased security, area advertising and promotion, and public improvements like parks and landscaping.

At the meetings, held at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center on Jefferson Boulevard, business owners and area residents were given details of the plan. The extra tax would be levied on businesses, not for homeowners, in and around the Bishop Arts District. A property valued at $100,000 would pay $120 a year.

At one of the meetings Bishop Arts property owner Michael Amonett told the crowd, "So if we're going to spend money I want it spent here, and I want it to stay here."

Amonett not only runs the Alchemy Salon on Bishop Street, he owns the building. "My only reservation would be just to make sure there's total transparency with that money and [making sure] that money doesn't end up somewhere else," he said.

The push to implement the tax is being spearheaded by the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, which has just a few weeks left to sign up more than 484 of some 800 businesses and properties in the proposed district.

"This is going to be a chance for those people to understand that it's going to be either them or their neighbors that are controlling this fund and that it's going to be used strictly for our area," Chamber of Commerce president Bob Stimson explained to CBS 11 News.

The proposed PID would be would be the first of its kind south of downtown Dallas.

In order to have the PID considered at Dallas City Hall, the minimum number of petition signatures will have to be gathered by March 31.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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