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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Downtown Inc. has decided not to present its plan to create a Municipal Service District (MSD) to Wilmington City Council Tuesday, but the group says this is not the end of the plan.

WDI executive director John Hinnant says this is just a delay for the plan. Whether it’s two weeks, two months or two years, Hinnant says the plan will come forward.

WDI’s plan for a MSD would tax downtown property and business owners to help pay for an ambassador program and clean-up.

WDI held public meetings to discuss the plan, but it’s clear not everyone is on board, especially stakeholders who have businesses downtown. Some even rallied together to create a petition against the plan.

Gwenyfar Rohler is the manager of Old Books on Front Street. She says she signed the petition to have her voice heard.

“We felt we wanted to have more discussion before this was fait accompli, and we really felt it was presented to us almost fait accompli,” Rohler said. “We would just like to have greater input from the entire group of stakeholders.”

Rohler says her business does not have the money to pay an additional tax right now. She hopes the continued conversation about the plan will take everyone’s issues into consideration.

Hinnant says the petition did not affect WDI’s decision to delay the progression of the plan.

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4 Comments on "WDI puts off downtown tax plan"

Tom Harris
2015 years 10 months ago

This is Tom Harris and I was one of the organizers of the petition against the current WDI version of the Municipal Services District plan. I am going to have to respectfully disagree with your comments about WDI. WDI is a valuable organization to downtown but has gotten a little off-course in recent years. The organization needs a “course correction” to do a better job of working with us Central Business District Stakeholders to solve existing problem and work together to turn Downtown into a successful year-round economy (it is currently too much of a seasonal tourist-based economy). WDI does NOT need to be torpedoed and WDI deserves a certain amount of public funding since downtown Wilmington is an area that is a public space and has hundreds of thousands of citizens and vistors utilize that public space ever year, with the ensuing problems and challenges that crowds cause. Every other downtown in every other major NC city has a public-private organization that receives some public funding like WDI and it would be inappropriate to cut off public funding to WDI, but would be appropriate for the County and City to attach conditions to future funding that would help WDI make the “course correction” that is needed.

2015 years 10 months ago

They are just a few of the innumerable New Hanover leeches that suck from the teat of taxpayer wealth. They all have connections to the city council members, some direct, some loose, but the simple fact is that the people of WDI and the similar groups would actually have to find gainful employment if they could not drink at the well of public funding.

They come up with these outlandish ideas to increase their power, gain even more money from the city and county, and “justify their phony-baloney jobs.” (My apologies to Mel Brooks.)

Wade griffis
2015 years 10 months ago

Where does this guy keep coming up with his wacky ideas? Instead of more police he wants unarmed but uniformed “Roving Ambassadors.” They are supposed to control the weekend riots with “a smile and a shoeshine.”

My apologies to Arthur Miller. I stole that from “Death of a salesman.”

What is needed downtown on weekends is more head knockers with a gun and a badge. Then, and only then will responsible mature people be willing to go down there after dark.

2015 years 10 months ago

Do we not aalready pay for these services? Just make the people actualy do the jobs thry are being paid for. NO MORE TAXES THIS HAS TO STOP!


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