This quarter, I would like to cover a few issues that are frequently of concern to Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District property owners. Please read on to learn more about how to handle assessments, snow removal responsibilities and an update about public art for the Columbus Bicentennial.
Assessments: A Primer
We sometimes hear questions from SID property owners about assessment collections. How are assessments invoiced? In what year should they be shown as an expense?
These assessments are placed on property tax invoices that are paid by property owners or their mortgage companies with real estate taxes. The assessments are listed as a line item called “special assessments.”
Unlike property taxes, which are paid a year in arrears, SID assessments are paid in the same year services are delivered. In other words, assessments paid in January 2012 will underwrite services provided in 2012. For property owners whose leases require tenants to pay assessments, the SID suggests that they be invoiced to tenants in the same year they are paid.
As mild as it's been this winter, it's still quite possible we will get a good snow storm before spring truly arrives. Under the Columbus City Code, property owners are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks that adjoin their properties. Pedestrians frequently complain to the City if sidewalks are not cleared, and property owners run a risk of being cited by the Code Enforcement Division for failing to keep sidewalks clear and safe.
The SID focuses its limited staffing on keeping crosswalks and storm sewer drains free of snow and ice. While the City does a good job of keeping streets clear of snow and ice and virtually all property owners are conscientious about their sidewalks, snow and ice often accumulate at intersections between sidewalks and at crosswalks causing slush and water to accumulate when storm sewers become clogged with ice.
We appreciate the diligence that virtually all property owners show to keep snow and ice cleared from the sidewalks in front of their buildings.
Happy Birthday Columbus
By now you are probably very aware that 2012 marks Columbus' 200th birthday. I hope you were able to enjoy some of the festivities held for the actual birthday on February 14, including an Ohio Theatre premiere of WOSU's Columbus Neighborhoods history of Downtown and Franklinton, sponsored by the SID and CAPA. The celebration will gone throughout the year.
The SID is also a sponsor of Columbus Public Art 2012, a year-long program featuring temporary art works in public spaces during the Bicentennial. The works will appear in the plazas, parks, streets and alleys in the core area of downtown.
You will see and hear sculptures, murals, bells and site-specific installations on walls and in surface parking lots, city busses and taxis. Downtown Columbus will be turned into an open-air gallery offering innovative and surprising public art. An overarching theme of Time was chosen by the curatorial team who conceived the project. The works will showcase Columbus' past, present and future, dovetailing naturally with the Bicentennial celebration.
Project partners are confident these projects will offer memorable experiences of the Bicentennial year for downtown workers, residents and visitors. And I am confident that you will enjoy them as well.