In an effort to provide financial relief due to the Covid-19 pandemic to property owners in Downtown Holland, the Downtown Boards asked City Council to approve a one-time reduction in annual assessments rates. At their October 7 regular meeting, City Council agreed to a 10% reduction in the Principal Shopping (PSD) Assessment rate, a 5% reduction in the Parking Operations and Maintenance Assessment rate, which typically increases by 3% each year, and no increase in the Snowmelt Operations and Maintenance Assessment rate for 2020, which typically increases from 3-5% each year.
Each year through a series of regular meetings, City Council approves the annual PSD, Parking and Snowmelt assessments that are leveraged against Downtown Holland property owners. The funds raised by the PSD assessment are used by the City each year for the purposes of promoting Downtown Holland through advertising, special events and other marketing initiatives. The Parking assessment allows Downtown Holland to offer free public parking by covering the costs of regular parking lot maintenance, landscaping and snow plowing, while the Snowmelt Assessment covers the cost of operating and maintaining Downtown Holland’s snowmelt system in partnership with the Holland Board of Public Works. Property owners also pay an annual millage to fund the Downtown Development Authority in addition the assessments.
“It’s a common misconception that Downtown Holland activities are paid for by City residents through their property taxes, when in fact, our Downtown Holland property owners pay a number of assessments each year to make Downtown Holland such a great place for the entire community to live, work and play,” said Downtown Development Authority Coordinator Amy Sasamoto, “In a time when so many of our businesses are hurting as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we wanted the ability to offer them some relief by reducing their assessment costs this year.”
The 10% reduction in the PSD assessment rates (based on building square footage) will result in a reduction of over $22,000 in assessment revenue for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Coupled with the loss of revenue due to the cancellation of a number of large scale special events, the PSD is budgeting for a loss of over $124,000 in total revenue for the fiscal year and has adjusted their marketing strategy for Downtown Holland accordingly. The 5% reduction in the Parking Assessment will result in a loss of over $13,000 in funds for the Parking budget, which will be covered by the parking fund balance so that parking lots can continue to be maintained as necessary. The Snowmelt budget operates without a fund balance, so a reduction in the assessment was not feasible, but the City wanted to at least guarantee that the assessment rate would not be increased for this year.
“Downtown Holland staff worked diligently with our various Boards to make prudent adjustments to our budgets and plans for the year to allow us to reduce the amount that our property owners will need to pay for their annual assessments this year,” said Downtown Holland Marketing Coordinator Kara de Alvare. “By reworking our budgets, and relying on fund balance savings, we
are pleased to be able to provide the same the level of service to our Downtown Holland business owners, the local community and visitors to the area that we do each year even with the reduction in assessment revenue. We plan to continue to work hard to ensure that Downtown Holland continues to thrive during this difficult time and remains vibrant for years to come.”
About Downtown Holland:
Located in the heart of the City of Holland just minutes from the shores of Lake Michigan and adjacent to the beautiful Hope College campus, Downtown Holland is a premier shopping, dining and events destination like none other. Downtown Holland features over 100 locally owned boutiques, shops and galleries, along with breweries, cafes and restaurants. Downtown Holland is also home to unique cultural attractions and an award-winning farmers market. For more information and the latest Downtown Holland news and updates, visit us online at www.downtownholland.com, follow Downtown Holland on Facebook and Instagram or call 616.796.1210.