Posted: Mar 7, 2013 8:38 AM
Updated: Mar 7, 2013 10:54 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A group of local business owners have come together forming a group to provide a unified front to city council about their concerns on the proposed Street User Fee. Many business owners think the street fee is unfair, charging large corporations the same price as a small businesses.
"We are for the street fee, we would like the city to come to an agreement and start collecting the fee and start repairing the streets because the streets need to be repaired," says group member Andy Taubman.
The coalition says the current proposal is unfair to small business owners.They could face the same fee as larger stores. Bay Area Bicycle's owner Tom Neagli says his store has struggled since the 2008 financial crisis. He worries the fee could put his store in the red.
"They want the small business person to grab a big chunk of the money and that would put a big deficit in our business," says Neagli.
Neagli says while the refiners bring in a large chunk of money for the city, small businesses are the heart and soul of the city.
"Listen to the business leaders of Corpus Christi, there's a bunch of business groups here, listen to them," says Neagli.
"What we are trying to do is to bring those voices in to one clear message that they can deal with that one message," says Tray Bates, another group member.
The coalition's plan is to offer a counter proposal to council they believe is fair and still raise the needed money for street repairs-- but in a way that wouldn't hurt small businesses. The coalition will prose a tiered fee to the council, with no businesses paying more than $500 a year.
If you would like to join the group email them at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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