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Efforts for Community Benefit District Tax dropped in Bethlehem

An earlier article talked about Bethlehem residents wondering if a Community Benefit District Tax was even necessary; now the effort for the special zone tax has been dropped completely.

The tax that was to be imposed on residents, property and homeowners, in the Bethlehem South Side Community Benefit District Zone, would have paid for neighborhood improvement: such as a marketing fund, benches, sidewalk cleaning, and other ways to beautify the community.

Homeowners would have been taxed at a rate of $6.86 for every $1,000 assessed and the median fee for property owners would have been $398 per year.

Homeowners, and some business owners were already opposed to funding the $450,000 per year budget that was needed for the effort. Many thought that Lehigh University, who was only going to contribute $100,000 annually, should pay the entire amount.

After the largest property owner and original steering committee member, developer Dennis Benner agreed, the effort for community benefit district tax ended.

Although the committee for the community benefit district has vowed to keep up the effort to have such a zone, they have acknowledged that they need to find another way to fund it.

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