The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

SoHo BID Approved by Mayor Bloomberg

By Dana Varinsky | October 24, 2013 8:52am
 Supporters of the SoHo BID say the neighborhood regularly swarmed with tourists and shoppers needs additional sanitation services.
Supporters of the SoHo BID say the neighborhood regularly swarmed with tourists and shoppers needs additional sanitation services.
View Full Caption
Dnainfo/Andrea Swalec

SOHO —Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the controversial SoHo Business Improvement District into law on Wednesday, ending a five-year fight between supporters and critics of its formation.

The BID will impose a tax on property owners along Broadway between East Houston and Canal streets, generating $550,000 per year to fund additional sanitation and public safety services, along with snow removal and beautification projects.

"The services provided to the community are essential to ensuring that small businesses, and the neighborhoods in which they operate, are given every opportunity to succeed," Bloomberg said in a statement Wednesday.

Supporters of the BID argued its services are necessary because of the large numbers of shoppers and tourists that flock to SoHo, but opponents have said the BID is unnecessary and the tax will be a burden to property owners.

Residential property owners will pay only $1 per year, and will make up half of the BID’s board. Commercial property owners will pay an amount based on their property value and the amount of street frontage.

“Retail business and rents are booming in SoHo, especially along the Broadway corridor, which commands some of the highest retail rents in the city," Sean Sweeney, head of the neighborhood group the SoHo Alliance and one of the critics of the BID, said in a statement. "Why is an added tax needed to ‘improve’ it?”

Community Board 2 voted in 2010 to oppose the proposal, and State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick and State Senator Daniel Squadron also voiced objections. The plan had the support of City Councilwoman Margaret Chin and passed the City Council.

BID formation committee co-chairman Brian Steinwurtzel said he thinks the people against the BID want the same things as those who are for it, such as fewer street vendors and fairs, clean and safe streets and a plan to deal with traffic.

"Where we differ is how to accomplish that goal," he wrote in a statement. "To those who opposed the BID, I'd ask them to try and work with us rather than against us to accomplish our common goals."

The SoHo BID is the 68th business improvement district to be created in New York City, Bloomberg said.

Steinwurtzel said that although the district's new revenue won't come through until July, the BID committee plans to create an interim board of directors by the first quarter of 2014.