Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chinatown Property Owners with AALDEF declare victory over illegally imposed retroactive tax

Chinatown BID Interim Board minutes with Politician's representatives listed, 
Board member's names and suggested period to start taxing property owners.
"In September, the City Council passed the Chinatown BID law and the mayor also signed off of it, but it did not get final approvals from the State Comptroller until January, 2012, spokesperson Merideth Weber said. The amount to be charged for the fiscal year will be around $500,000 instead of $900,000 and property owners will be notified of the assessment being charged and how credit will be applied for those that did pay the fees, she said."   - the Village Voice,  Sam Levin

"[Wellington] Chen called the issue a "technicality," dismissing AALDEF's characterization of the BID fees as being "illegal."
"This is an accounting issue," Chen said. "It does not warrant wasting time and energy."
Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120409/lower-east-side-east-village/city-refund-300k-chinatown-property-owners#ixzz1rn141L7U

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, in their analysis of the B.I.D. law, concluded that the B.I.D. cannot impose BID taxes on property owners PRIOR to the BID becoming a legal entity.
They also concluded that the BID was not formed at the time Mayor Bloomberg signed the BID into law ( apparently a popular belief among BID Board members and even its Exec. Dir.)  in Sept. 2011, but rather when it was signed by the State Comptroller and then finalized by Small Business Services in Jan. 31 2012.

According to the minutes provided by the Chinatown BID interim Board, Eddie Eng of Small Business Services advises the BID Board they have two choices in which to start the "funding" of the BID, either July 2011, or October 2011. The BID board supposedly voted unanimously to do the later, although this recently has been questioned by some on the BID Board itself.

Page 1

- 1 -
Minutes of the Chinatown District Management Association (CDMA – aka BID) Meeting
February 2, 2012
4:00 – 5:30 PM
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
62 Mott Street
New York NY 10013
CDMA Interim Board Members Present:
Jimmy Cheng, United Fujianese American Association
Kenneth Cheng, Fukien American Association
Nolan Cheng, Law Offices of Nolan Cheng
Peter Cheng, Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation
Priscilla Cheung, eRxCity Corporation
Stephen Cheung, D.H. Realty & Management
Anthony P. Colombini, Esq., Chu and Partners
Eddy Eng, Small Business Services, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office
Frank F. Gee, Gee Poy Kuo Association
Dr. Wilson Ko, Multispecialty Physician Group
Philip Lam, Green City Realty
Meng Lao, representing Jack Eng, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Peter Lau, Confucius Pharmacy
David J. Louie, David J. Louie, Inc.
Dr. Chun Ka Luk and Bernice Luk, Broadway Chinatown Realty
Gabe B. Mui, the American Legion Lt. B.R. Kimlau Memorial Post 1291
John Pasquale, PEP Realty
Michael Salzhauer, Benjamin Partners
Sio Wai Sang, Golden Jade Jewelry
William Su, Grand Hotel
Matt D. Viggiano, Council Member Margaret S. Chin’s office
Tony C. Wong, Wong & Co., CPA’s
Wellman Wu, Kam Man Food, Inc.
Jimmy Yan, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s office
Chih-Ping Yu, Lin Sing Association
Other Class E Representatives:
Mary Cooley, Senator Daniel Squadron’s office
Karen He, Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver’s office
John K. Leo, Community Board #3
Michael Levine, Community Board #1
Iris Quinones, Hon. Nydia Velazquez
P.O. Nicky Teo, NYPD 7
P.O. Sue Too, NYPD Community Affairs Bureau
Antony Wong, Community Board #2
Xiao Min Zhao, Council Member Margaret S. Chin’s office
Chinatown Partnership
Wellington Chen
Shu Mei Guan Chow
Lamgen Leon
Tony Wong
- 2 -
The meeting was called to order at 4:05 p.m.
David Louie welcomed everyone and started the meeting off with a blessing performed by Tony C. Wong.
Members of the Interim Chinatown BID Board introduced themselves, and Mr. Louie asked everyone to
review the minutes from the last meeting that was already posted on the Chinatown BID’s website within
three days of the BID’s January meeting.
Clarification was made in that the Interim Board members listed on the minutes do not represent the
complete board, but just the members that were present at the last meeting.
Michael Salzhauer questioned the procedures of posting the minutes without the review and approval of the
board first as it is typically done. Both Mr. Louie and Wellington explained that they already posed this
question to the office of Council Member Chin, and the response was that it was the City Council’s ruling.
However, Council Member Chin’s representative, Matt Viggiano, will ask the City Council to review
whether to allow posting of the minutes within three business days after the Board’s approval as the standard
operating procedure.
Motion to approve the minutes of January 5, 2012 passed unanimously.
Eddy Eng reminded everyone that the BID needs to work on the Incorporation papers, the by-laws and the
Executive Committee needs to sign an agreement with the Chinatown Partnership, unless the BID hire an
Executive Director. He also reminded that the incorporation documents will need an organization name.
Wellington emphasized based on outreach feedbacks that the (real) final BID’s name needs to be diverse and
not offend or leave out anyone or sectors or industries, but we need a name for incorporation purpose for
now, and there will be a DBA under the official name similar to other BIDs.
After discussions on whether to choose either a cleaner or a lengthier name, the name of “CHINATOWN
DISTRICT MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, INC.” with a 15 to 9 vote was selected over “Chinatown
Business Improvement District Management Association, Inc.”
The By-laws Committee has been working very hard on the by-laws and will have a preliminary draft soon.
Presented for review was the “Draft Committee Survey” based on the preliminary feedback from the
previous meeting. Michael Levine asked the different between “Program Service Committee” and “Program
Development Committee”. Wellington explained that the latter one is basically the same as fundraising and
marketing. All these committees need to work alongside with the Chinatown Partnership as tandem.
Motion to change the “Program Development Committee” to “Fundraising and Marketing Committee”
passed unanimously.
Eddy Eng agreed to Co-Chair with Frank Gee the Fundraising and Marketing Committee. Peter Cheng also
announced that he would like to join and Chair the Nomination Committee.
Motion to approve all the Committees chairs as indicated in the “Draft Committee Survey” results pending
their acceptance passed unanimously.
- 3 -
Treasurer Report
Tony Wong reported that the board needs to decide on the fiscal year and the billing date for the BID.
There are two options: 1) start the billing in July 1, 2011, when Chinatown Partnership started paying the
expenses for the BID; or 2) October 1, 2011 when the BID was officially approved and the Partnership
extended the service to the entire BID’s service area.
Eddy Eng mentioned that once the BID decided on the billing date, the property owners will receive the bill
in April, and once the BID’s bank account is set, the BID will receive 75% of $1.3 million dollars (the BID’s
budget), and 50% of the FY 2013’s Annual Budget by July 2012.
After all the considerations and discussions, the motion to approve the Chinatown District Management
Association’s fiscal year as July 1 to June 30; and start the DMA assessment billing on October 1, 2011,
passed unanimously.
Eddy Eng also suggested using a special occasion to announce the billing to the community and in a positive
Acknowledgment of Chinatown Partnership
Wellington reported that the Chinatown partnership has been paying for all the BID’s expenses since July of
2011 and is now in a cash flow situation. The Partnership already laid-out more than $200,000 dollars for the
BID and cannot sustain forever in this fashion.
David Louie acknowledges all the works the Partnership’s board has done for the BID and suggested a
donation or reimbursement to the Partnership for the expenses they had incurred once the BID receives its
Motion to approve the reimbursement to the Chinatown Partnership of necessary and verifiable expenses
related to the BID from July 1, 2011 until the BID receives its own funding passed unanimously.

The interim Chinatown Business Improvement District Board of Directors includes these representatives:

-Alice Cancel, Comptroller John C. Liu's office
-Pauline Yu, Mayor's Community Assistant Unit
-Eddy Eng, Small Business Servies, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office
-Elizabeth DeLeon, Small Business Services
-Michael Melamed, Small Business Services
-Matt D Viggiano, Council Member Margaret S. Chin's office
-Xiao Min Zhao, Council Member Margaret S. Chin's office
-Jimmy Yan, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer's office
-Mary Cooley, Senator Daniel Squadron's Office
-Karen He, Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver's office
-John K Leo, Community Board # 3
-Michael Levine, Community Board # 1
-Iris Quinones, Hon. Nydia Velazquez
-P.O. Nicky Teo, NYPD 7th Precinct
-P.O. Sue Too, NYPD Community Affairs Bureau
-Antony Wong, Community Board #2

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