Turns Out Klyde Warren Park's Neighbors Don't Really Mind Being Taxed

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Back in March, the operators of Klyde Warren Park surprised neighbors by passing the hat and asking for a modest contribution to keep downtown's newest jewel clean and running smoothly. And it was modest. The public improvement district they wanted to create would levy a tax of two-and-a-half cents for every $100 of assessed property value, meaning the owner of a $1 million condo would wind up paying $250 per year.

The thing was, the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation and its chairman, Jody Grant, had made a big show of how the park was a philanthropic gift that would require zero public funds to operate. The other thing was, they neglected to consult with the area's major players, notably the Arts District. A minor skirmish ensued.

It seems that the parties have put their differences behind them, as The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday. They declared their truce in a very kumbaya press release.

See also
Klyde Warren Park Would Like to Begin Taxing Its Neighbors
Someone's Gonna Get Decked in Fight Over Paying for Upkeep of Klyde Warren Park

"This has been a very productive process, and from these discussions have come new ways to build a better Arts District, provide additional resources for all its stakeholders, and most importantly, enhance the experience all of us together provide to the public," gushed Dallas Museum of Art Director Maxwell Anderson, who also chairs the Dallas Arts District nonprofit.

Grant's praise was equally effusive, expressing gratitude to Anderson for agreeing to "this excellent partnership."

The key to the agreement seems to lie in the park's decision to exempt the Arts District's major cultural institutions and nonprofits from the levy and to help fund improvements to streets, sidewalks, and other infrastructure that will benefit both parties. The Arts District also gets three of nine spots on the PID's governing board.

Also key: The new tax has the support of 74 percent of property owners.

The arrangement is expected to generate $610,000 in its first year, a number that's expected to to double by 2020 as property values rise. Half of the initial take will go to security, with another quarter earmarked for sanitation. The rest will be used for marketing, cultural programs, holiday lighting, and water features.

The matter is scheduled to go before the City Council for final approval in August.


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20 comments
rroyb
rroyb

I expect this kind of misleading reporting from the DMN, but the Observer - what is going on

coachbranden
coachbranden

Why would they need to pay for security? The Downtown Safety Patrol already has a presence at all the other downtown parks.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo wherez myz slice of da taxes?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

"The rest will be used for marketing, cultural programs, holiday lighting, and water features."  Why do you need to "market" a park?


"Of course, Warden Norton had a different idea of what "a bare minimum of taxpayer expense' meant." -- Red

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

As nice as it is, Deck Park belongs to the 9 to 5ers, tourists, and Uptown yuppies.  Main Street Park, on the other hand, is a meeting place for people who actually live in the surrounding area.  The East Side of downtown is quickly turning into what might be the first real residential neighborhood in downtown Dallas, what with the Continental now ready for occupancy and the former Statler coming along.  We already have the stately Titche-Goettinger (1900 Elm) and the beaux-arts Municipal Building on the "square", thankfully saved from the odious wrecking ball somehow.  The soaring clock tower of the Mercantile Building keeps watch over the park.  The historic Indigo Hotel, the Merc Element and the UNT building with its recent window installation, round out the beautiful architecture of the park's perimeter.  I would love to see the center lawn criss-crossed with walk paths lined with shade trees, for a cooler and cozier feel.

The redevelopment of the Farmer's Market area is exciting, and the prospect of the wretched expressway being ripped out, enabling immediate communication with Deep Ellum, is marvelous.  The stunning Scottish Rite Cathedral, the Masonic Lodge, and the Presbyterian Church along Harwood are precious gems that the area is lucky to have.  Five years ago this section was a seedy and sad looking mess.  Congrats to the movers and shakers who are dedicated to turning the city's core into a great place to live.

Sarah
Sarah

"$1 million condo would wind up paying $250 per year" MORE. I love how media always leaves that out when advocating for more tax increases.

If they're ok paying, fine, but a guy living in a million dollar condo he pays about $8000 in city taxes already. And about $27300 total. 

Maybe the asholes at city hall should have considered maintenance costs when they were deciding to build it.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Is the  Performing Arts area  Property even on the Tax roles ?

WylieH
WylieH

I suspect that if you ask the owner-occupants of several condominium complexes that were dragged into the district without any knowledge or consultation, you might get a different answer.

MeanGreen
MeanGreen

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

I don't really get what this comment has to do with the article...FWIW, the majority of the people I see on weekends at the Klyde Warren are definitely not uptown yuppies. Tourists? Dallas has those?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz (slow claps) unbelievable, well written and said.  It was nice reading a post that was not tearing down Texas and actually speaking nicely of the city that so graciously hosts you!

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

How did I leave out the Lone Star Gas Co. Building and the Dahl-designed 1955 Library?

casiepierce
casiepierce

@Sarah Hum, if someone is paying "$27300 total" I doubt that he's going to pinch that $250 for the PID contribution. Maybe he gives the maid an extra week off, but million dollar condo dwellers don't seem like they'd miss it much. And in case you missed it, 74% of the property owners approved. PID's only have to have 51%. So, you could say that it was a landslide.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin Hosts me?  Sweets, I pay into the economy the same as you do.  I've always spoken well of Dallas, not so much about the right-wing zhlubs out in the Texas sticks.  You just love harping on the negative, Scotty.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin You mean "compliment"...

Big Kitty is lactose intolerant.  You have any soy milk?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I wasnt being negative Myrnie, take the complement...here....here is a bowl of fresh out the cow titties milk for big kitty to enjoy

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