Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Board challenger aims to break up Nor’wood’s “monopoly game”

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 1:37 PM

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO
  • File Photo

Tim Leonard, a former state representative, is running for a seat on Interquest North Business Improvement District’s board in the district’s May 5 election.

The move is significant because the BID hasn’t had a board election since it was created 16 years ago. Nor’wood Development Group created the BID, and all board members are Nor’wood owners or employees. Nor’wood, therefore, controls issuing debt and has purchased that debt through entities it controls.

Promising to “break up this Board’s monopoly game,” Leonard vowed to push for lower property taxes for businesses within the district.

Last summer, Leonard represented two businesses in the BID to oppose excluding mega-retailer Scheels All Sports from the district, meaning it wouldn’t have to pay property taxes but would benefit from district-funded infrastructure paid for by others. Nor’wood withdrew its exclusion request.

Leonard says the BID essentially wants smaller businesses to subsidize Scheels, to which the city has given a $16.2 million sales tax break over 25 years. 

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