Saturday, March 25, 2023 Mar 25, 2023
62° F Dallas, TX

Arts District Leaders Reject Plan to Tax Klyde Warren Park Neighbors

By Bradford Pearson |

Photo: Bradford Pearson
Photo: Bradford Pearson
Wilonsky has a follow-up scoop on his original scoop about the proposed Klyde Warren Park public improvement district, and it’s not good news for the park:

…as you’ll see below, with “deep concern” [Dallas Museum of Art Director Maxwell Anderson, Perot Museum of Nature and Science CEO Nicole Small, AT&T Performing Arts Center President and Acting CEO Doug Curtis, Dallas Theater Center Managing Director Heather Kitchen, Nasher Sculpture Center Director Jeremy Strick, etc.] opposed the PID for myriad reasons, chief among them the fear that its expansive boundaries — which stretch from Uptown to downtown and take in office towers, condos and hotels — will hit hard those already paying into the Downtown Dallas Improvement District or the Uptown PID. The PID that Grant is proposing would assess property owners a 2.5 cent fee on every $100 in appraised value, or about $250 a year for a $1,000,000 property. Those who signed the opposing letter warn Grant that asking property owners to fork over even a few more dollars annually means “they are far less likely to support the Dallas Arts District, its cultural institutions and District-wide events and activities.”

But more to the point, the letter says, the proposed Klyde Warren PID would raise a few hundred thousand dollars annually for a single entity with a $3-million annual budget. To exclude the city-owned-and-supported buildings in the Arts District, the newly opened Perot and the infrastructure that connects them would be “a missed opportunity,” says the letter. The arts organizations’ leaders want a sit-down with Grant to discuss creating a PID that would benefit not just the park, but all the groups residing in and near the Arts District’s boundaries.

Okay, so it’s two things, really. One: the Arts District folks are concerned about the double-dip some property owners will take, making them less likely to donate to the Arts District. But then the second point is basically, “Well, and we’d like our piece, too. Don’t forget us.” The two notions contradict each other, and amount to throwing a bunch of darts at a board and hoping one of them hits the 16 you need.

If the Arts District doesn’t support the PID because it isn’t a universal, all-encompassing aide, that’s fine. It makes sense. But then it shouldn’t present the poverty argument.