(a) "Commercial property" means the surface of any taxable real property which is classified for ad valorem real property tax purposes as Class IV. Excluded from the meaning of such term is all real property owned or used exclusively for state, county, municipal, literary, educational, scientific, religious, benevolent or charitable purposes, or real property owned or used by public port authorities or wayport authorities;
(b) "District board" means a district board created pursuant to section eleven of this article;
(c) "Property owner" or "owner" means the owner of commercial property as shown by the transfer records in the office of the county clerk of the county in which the property is located. If an owner owns more than one commercial property, that owner is counted as a separate owner for each such commercial property owned. If commercial property is owned by more than one owner, the majority in ownership is treated as the owner for the purpose of this article;
(d) "Services" means governmental functions, programs, activities, facility improvements and other services which a district board is authorized to perform or provide under section five of this article.
(a) Beautification of the district, by means such as landscaping and construction and erection of fountains, shelters, benches, sculptures, signs, lighting, decorations and similar amenities;
(b) Provision of special or additional public services, such as sanitation, security for persons and property and the construction and maintenance of public facilities including sidewalks and other public areas;
(c) Making principal or interest payments on bonds issued by the municipality for public improvements located within and designated to improve the economic viability of the district;
(d) Providing financial support for public transportation and vehicle parking facilities open to the general public;
(e) Constructing, operating and maintaining parking facilities;
(f) Developing plans for the general architectural design of public areas and developing plans and programs for the future development of the district;
(g) Developing, promoting and supporting community events and activities open to the general public;
(h) Providing the administrative costs for a district management program; and
(i) Providing any other services which the municipality or district board is authorized to perform and which the municipality does not also perform to the same extent on a municipality-wide basis.
(b) The petition shall set forth:
(1) The name of the proposed district, including a descriptive name thereof and the words "business improvement district";
(2) A general description of the boundaries and service area of the proposed district;
(3) A general description of the additional or extended services needed within the district; and
(4) A request for the organization of a business improvement district.
(1) Describes the boundaries of the proposed district with sufficient specificity to enable the owner of any commercial property in the municipality to determine whether his or her property is located therein. The area proposed for any district must be contiguous with and situated fully within the boundaries of the municipality;
(2) A description of any additional or extended services needed within the district;
(3) A description of the proposed method of financing any planned improvements, including the maximum rate of annual fees that may be imposed upon properties within the proposed district and the manner in which the rate will be imposed. The amount of annual fees may be based upon gross leasable square footage, street front-footage, total gross building or land square footage, or any combination thereof, or on such basis as can reasonably be determined based upon the value of the improvements to the commercial property situated in the district and upon whatever benefits exist relative to the various owners of property situated therein. For the purpose of levying fees, the committee shall make a reasonable classification of all properties within the proposed district;
(4) A recommendation concerning the feasibility and desirability of the proposed business improvement district and any alternative proposal, in the event the committee's recommendation is not in accordance with the original petition: Provided, That, in the event the boundaries of the proposed business improvement district recommended by the committee differs from the boundaries contained in the original petition, the report must also contain an additional petition signed by at least four persons who own commercial property in the proposed business improvement district recommended by the committee. Such commercial property must have an assessed value as reflected on the county assessor's land books of not less than fifty-one percent of the value of all commercial property in the proposed business improvement district;
(5) Such other information as may be requested by the governing body. The municipality may provide staff and technical assistance to the committee.
(a) The purpose of the hearing;
(b) The name of the proposed district;
(c) The purpose of the proposed district;
(d) The property proposed to be included in the district; and
(e) The proposed method of financing any costs involved, including the maximum rate of annual fees that may be imposed upon any properties situated within the proposed district.
The hearing shall be held not later than sixty days after receipt of the planning committee's report.
At the time and place set forth in the notice, the governing body shall afford the opportunity to be heard to any owner of real property situated in the proposed district and any residents of the municipality.
(1) The name of the district and a description of its boundaries;
(2) A summary of any proposed services to be provided within the district and a reasonable estimate of any attendant cost;
(3) The maximum rate of any annual fees that may be imposed upon the commercial properties and the manner in which the rate will be imposed; and
(4) The district boardmembers' terms, their method of appointment and a full description of their powers and duties.
(b) The ordinance shall also state the general intention of the municipality to increase services within the business improvement district and that no fees collected under the authority of the ordinance may be used to reduce, replace or supplant existing funds or services.
(b) The district board, in addition to the duties prescribed by the ordinance creating the improvement district, shall submit an annual report to the governing body containing:
(1) An itemized statement of its receipts and disbursements for the preceding fiscal year;
(2) A description of its activities for the preceding fiscal year;
(3) A recommended program of services to be performed or provided within the district for the coming fiscal year; and
(4) A proposed budget to accomplish its objectives.
(c) Nothing in this article prohibits any member of the district board from also serving on the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation with which the municipality may contract to provide specified services within the district.
(d) No member of the district board may receive, either directly or indirectly, compensation for service on the board.
(b) The ordinance creating a business improvement district may provide for the division of property within the district into two or more zones or uses in the event significant differences exist relative to the property and the improvements. The ordinance may establish different rates of assessment for each zone or use, or may provide that the rate be a certain percentage of the assessment levied in the zone or on the use, subject to the highest rate of assessment.
(c) The amount of the business improvement service fee shall be in addition to any municipality-wide license fees or any other tax, fee or charge levied for the general benefit and use of the municipality.
(d) Each assessment is a lien on the commercial property that is assessed, second only to any state, federal or county taxes levied on that property.
(b) Upon receipt of the petition, the governing body shall refer the petition to the appropriate district board for which the amendment is sought. The board shall review the petition and, within sixty days, file a report with the governing body recommending either acceptance of the proposed inclusion or rejection of the petition. Additional property may not be included unless it is contiguous with the existing district and situated within the boundaries of the municipality.
(c) Upon receipt of the recommendation from the district board, the governing body shall designate a time and place for a public hearing upon the petition to include additional property. The notice shall meet the requirements set forth in section eight of this article.
(d) At the time and place set forth in the notice, the governing body shall afford the opportunity to be heard to any owners of real property either currently included in or proposed to be added to the existing improvement district and to any other residents of the municipality. The hearing shall be held within sixty days after the governing body's receipt of the district board's recommendation.
(e) All additional property included in a district shall be subject to all fees whether currently existing or thereafter levied.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, no business improvement district may exist for a period exceeding ten years unless reinstated pursuant to the provisions of this article. Reinstatement requires compliance with all requirements and procedures set forth herein for the initial development and establishment of a district. No district may issue notes or bonds for funding district projects or improvements that exceed a repayment schedule of ten years. Upon the dissolution of any business improvement district, any funds or other assets, contractual rights or obligations, claims against holders of indebtedness, or other financial benefits, liabilities or obligations existing after full payment has been made on all contracts, bonds, notes or other obligations of the district, shall be transferred to the municipality. Any funds or other assets so transferred shall be used for the benefit of the area included in the improvement district being dissolved.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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