SouthPark area approved to become municipal service district

A special property tax would be added to a portion of the South Park region to fund projects for the area.
Monday night Charlotte city council members will vote to adopt an ordinance approving the creation of a municipal service district in SouthPark.
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 5:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Monday night, Charlotte city council members voted to adopt an ordinance approving the creation of a municipal service district in SouthPark.

It follows in the footsteps of similar districts in uptown, South End and the University City area. Becoming one of these districts provides the ability to make infrastructure improvements without relying on city dollars.

A special property tax will be added to a portion of the South Park region to fund projects for the area.

The proposed district includes commercial and residential areas south of Scofield Road and Wickersham Road, west of Sharon Road and Cameron Valley Parkway, north of Sharon View Road, and east of Park South Drive.

“We have to invest in east, and west, and north Charlotte, but not at the expense of cash cowing out our district and that’s what’s happening right now,” Charlotte city council member Tariq Bokhari, who represents District 6, told WBTV.

He says it’s time to invest in the infrastructure of SouthPark.

“Everything is crumbling around us and I don’t know a way that’s going to change unless some people in the form of an MSD wake up every morning thinking about South Park,” he said. “Every year they’re going to come up with their own legislative agenda, their own public-private partnership agenda. I think if this is successful, over the next five to 10 years we’re going to see a massive shift in where SouthPark is going in its future.”

It would mean a tax rate of 4 cents per $100 dollars of assessed valuation for property, generating roughly $1.35 million dollars in the first year.

Bokhari says they excluded as many residential areas from the boundary as possible so that the majority of the financial burden would fall on large business owners who are asking for this.

“Under three percent of the ultimate MSD cost that is being taxed comes from anyone who is a residential person,” he said. “That’s somewhere between 50 and 90 dollars a year that they’d be impacted by.”

Proposed plans include a 3.2 mile loop of walking and bike trails, connecting the mall to various neighborhoods.

“Sometimes it’s interesting how the sidewalks come to a dead stop and then you have to cross the streets, so walkability sounds good,” Susan Johnson told WBTV.

Susan and Ralph Johnson say the improvements are needed, even if their taxes go up.

“As long as they’re not going up thousands, over time it’s not a bad thing,” she said.

Justin Gesner, who also lives in the proposed district, says he is on board, as long as his apartment rent stays within reason.

“I love the greenway,” he said. “If something like that could happen in Charlotte without breaking the bank that would be cool.”

At the last public hearing, one person who lives in a mixed use development within this MSD boundary spoke out against this proposal, asking why she would have to pay for this when most other residential neighborhoods will not.

Bokhari told me they excluded as many residential neighborhoods as possible, but had to include a select few of these condos and apartments because of their locations.

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