Posted: Feb 20, 2013 2:20 PM by Melissa Schroeder - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Feb 20, 2013 6:37 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI -- A vice president for a local furniture store says the city street user fees aren't fair to his business, and he's speaking out against them.
It's estimated -- to repair streets in Corpus Christi -- it would cost around $15 million a year.
That's why city staff came up with a street user fee.
It's expected homeowners would pay a $7 flat rate fee each month.
But, it's much more complicated than that for business owners.
Tony Norrell with Braslau's Furniture said, "If nothing else, if you watch this newscast and you care about Corpus Christi and you care about new businesses coming here, don't let them run over us like this. This is not right."
Tony cares a lot about Braslau's Furniture.
He's worked there for 46 years.
So, this is like his family.
He says the street user fee -- which would cost them around $1000 a month -- may force him to break up his family.
Here's how it works...all non-residential businesses are lumped into one category.
Then, in a complicated formula, using the building's square footage, the city comes up with an amount that the business pays per month.
Tony says the problem with this formula is that furniture stores have large square footage, but not a lot of customers.
And, places like fast food restaurants or convenience stores, have a lot of customers...but not as much square footage.
So, those businesses would pay less for a street user fee.
Some city council members agreed with Tony's reasoning and committed to looking at possible changes to the formula.
Tony says he'll be there every step of the way, standing up for local businesses.
He said, "I don't want to be the one that stood out of the way and let them go on. We have to do something."
The city council plans to talk about changes to the business street user fee during next week's meeting.
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