NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) — Businesses in Riverside Village are having to pay up. The city council has approved a resolution to collect fees from properties there. It’s part of the Municipal Improvement District.
It includes all the properties in the Riverside Village area. The city council approved the tax resolution during Monday’s meeting.
“The city was to build the stadium, the hotel deck, and the infrastructure, and we are just now completing the amphitheater park,” says Mayor Bob Petit. “The master developer agreed to the hotel, senior living, single-family units, the apartments and office building, and the stadium deck.”
North Augusta is collecting fees from merchants in Riverside Village. Here’s how it works: If the city’s annual revenue from a business falls short of expectations, the fees are supposed to make up the difference. The council passed a resolution worth about $1,200,000. The mayor says the city has to have the money so it can meet the bond payments.
“The agreement was the city will get the revenue as spelled out in the financial model from each of the parcels, regardless if they are build out or not,” explained Mayor Petit.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel property has a fee of more than $300,000. Mayor Petit says it’s because the hotel did not get its certificate of occupancy until January 2019.
“The assessment was not on the hotel as it was constructed,” said Mayor Petit. “The assessed value now that they are paying taxes on where if it was raw land.”
Several pieces of property are still under development. North Augusta’s Mayor says the Municipal Improvement District acts as an incentive for the properties to be developed.
“You’re going to pay a fee, equal to what the taxes might have been as agreed,” said Mayor Petit. “Whether it’s raw land or if it’s built out.”
North Augusta’s Mayor says businesses in Riverside Village were aware of the ordinance when the city and the master developer agreed to the procedure.