ROGERS PARK — Taste of Peru owner Cesar Izquierdo wants trash picked up and the snow cleared from the sidewalk and street in front of his business.
The North Clark Street restaurant lies just outside of Special Service Area 24, a tax district that funnels a percentage of property taxes to be used for neighborhood projects such as street cleaning, decorative banners and festivals.
Izquierdo wants the service area expanded to include his restaurant at 6551 N. Clark St.
"I'm all for it. It's a good thing," Izquierdo said. "It's too bad they didn't do it to begin with."
The 9-year-old service area expires at the end of 2013, so the Rogers Park Business Alliance, which manages its $318,000 budget, must work to renew its agreement with the city. Its current boundaries span Clark Street between Rogers and Wallen avenues, West Morse Avenue between North Sheridan Road and Clark Street, and on North Glenwood Avenue between Greenleaf and Farwell avenues.
Izquierdo, 58, said he has lived in Rogers Park since he "got off the plane" from his home country of Peru. The next step would be to improve the area between Wallen and Devon avenues — but it would come at a price.
Property owners within the service area pay an additional property tax of $600 per $100,000 of assessed property value, according to the Office of the Inspector General.
So, for example, the building owner where the Taste of Peru and four other businesses are located, would pay an additional $1,400 a year in taxes, according to the property's assessed value.
Parveen Khan, who's owned a Dollar Plus store on Clark Street for 13 years, said she pays $6,000 in taxes a year and is opposed to the proposed expansion.
"Property taxes are already too high," she said. "This street is already losing business."
Throughout 2013, the business alliance plans to hold community meetings, consider new map boundaries and collect supporting signatures from taxpayers before the expansion proposal goes to the city council for a vote.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) supports the expansion, said Betsy Vandercook, the alderman's chief of staff.