Taekwondo deal with city: 65 percent break on taxes? | Arkansas Blog

Taekwondo deal with city: 65 percent break on taxes?


Board to consider demolishing the Brittnum Rooming House at 1325 W. 12th St.
  • Board to consider demolishing the Brittnum Rooming House at 1325 W. 12th St.

The City Board of Directors tonight will vote on a resolution to issue $13 million in capital improvement revenue bonds so that a new headquarters for the American Taekwondo Association can be built at 1800 Riverfront Drive. The bonds will provide the funds to acquire the land, construct the headquarters and equip it.

The ATA has notified the state Department of Finance and Authority that the bonds will bring with them an in-lieu-of-tax payment of 35 percent of the property tax that would otherwise be due, though that language is not in the resolution. City Attorney Tom Carpenter, in email to Max, who had asked if the city was going to reduce ATA's property taxes by 65 percent — which will reduce tax dollars to the public school district — without notice to the public, says there will be a public hearing before the PILOT is agreed to. Carpenter said the PILOT will not be in effect until the bonds are issued, and the bonds will not be issued until construction is complete. Until then, the ATA will pay property taxes on the property during construction.

I'm not sure why moving the ATA headquarters from Baseline to Riverfront Drive guarantees new jobs or why it needs such a boost from the city and a sacrifice on the part of the school district, but perhaps we'll find out tonight when the board meeting starts at 6 p.m.

The board will also vote on whether to tear down a property at 1325 W. 12th St., owned by Narcissus Tyler. Tyler says the structure was once used as a boarding house and was home to black Arkansas Travelers in the 1960s, including Dick Allen, Ferguson Jenkins and Alex Johnson. Tyler said Howard Love, an executive at the Urban League of Arkansas in the 1960s and '70s, lived in the house as well.

The "Brittnum Rooming House" was voted April 9 by the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas to be included on the 2015 list of Most Endangered Properties. That list is to be announced May 14, Tyler said.

It will cost the city $4,500 to tear the building down.

Speaking of historic properties: Paul Dodds, who has been renovating dilapidated homes in the Central High neighborhood, has been asked to speak to the board during citizen comment period about what he sees as looming trouble at Centennial Park.

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