Monday, June 27, 2011

Sign the Petition to Help Retail on H


H Street NE Retail Priority Area Incentive Act of 2010


This legislation passed unanimously by Council -- chaired by Mr. Gray -- in December 2010.

The law requires that the tax increment already collected from the H Street NE corridor be reinvested in two ways: 1) a new grant program to retain and recruit retail small businesses on the corridor, tied to new job creation, and 2) fund a previously approved, but unfunded, tax abatement for the project at 3rd and H Street, NE.

The City's fiscal impact, accepted by Council, stated that the funds were sufficient and “already recognized in the budget and financial plan”.

In the first year of the 5-year program, approximately $1.4M was budgeted for the tax abatement at 3rd and H Street NE, and $3.5M was budgeted for the H Street NE retail incentive grant program.

The grant program works by supporting targeted retail development on H Street NE (excluding restaurants, bars, phone stores, etc.) and requires that the new developments create jobs and hire Distrrict residents.


The Mayor has recently decided to use the collected tax funds to pay for the tax abatement at 3rd and H Street, NE, but not allow the remaining funds to be used for the H Street NE retail priority grant program.

The funds are available, but the Mayor’s budget office has advised the Mayor to fund the tax abatement at $1.4M this year, but to leave the $3.5M in retail grant funds unspent for the fiscal year, holding them to pay for spending pressures elsewhere in the city’s budget.


First, it breaks a promise to the businesses and community on H Street NE. Second, it hurts the growth of retail businesses and job creation on the corridor.

The city has failed to implement two previously Council passed Streetscape Relief Fund efforts. This is another broken promise for these tax-paying businesses.

This action uses the funds collected from H Street owners not to create jobs but to pay for unrelated spending pressures elsewhere in the budget.

With job creation a top priority in the District, this retail incentive program is exactly the type of effort that supports local entrepreneurs and businesses and specifically ties job creation to grant eligibility. It is counter intuitive to take these funds (derived from H Street NE businesses' taxes) away from a much-needed program to pay for overspending elsewhere in the government.

The H Street NE Retail Priority Incentive Act of 2010 provides a program that would be the first of its kind in the city, providing a much-needed model for spawning healthy economic development that is specifically tied to job creation.


We are asking Mayor Gray to keep his promise to the H Street NE community by reinstating the funds needed for this important initiative. Join us by signing your name to this petition.


Anonymous said...

What? Mayor Gray not honoring a promise? Shocker. Sure glad we got him for a Mayor! (For stupid people that's sarcasm and it really means we're not glad...)

Lets just hope he doesn't do too much damage before the next election cycle. And lets really hope he gets ousted before that.

Gonzo said...

The Gray mayorship is a disaster. How many more years?

Anonymous said...

Before we spend time bitching about the mayor, will you first direct some of your energy in signing to attached petition? It would be much more productive for the corridor.


ro said...

Lulz. How could anyone possibly be surprised by Gray. All the signs were there and yet people voted for him in droves, even the so-called progressives. Look, we pretty much got the mayor we deserved. I'll sign the petition. It has no chance of influencing Gray's position though, he's clearly moving in a different direction

bars not schools said...


Anonymous said...

the petition website seems like a asks for your email address and then it says 'By signing, you accept's terms of service'

I do not need to accept that to sign a petition?

inked said...

It's not a scam. You will need to accept the terms to sign. If that bothers you, just call, or email, Gray's office instead.

East_H said...

It's not a scam, but it is a bit annoying that they ask for so much information. was used by Rosedale Citizen's Alliance to create the very helpful "Hands Off Redistricting Ward 6" petition.

Scott said...


Anonymous said...

Ro said, "It has no chance of influencing Gray's position though, he's clearly moving in a different direction." Don't be so sure. Gray is so insecure and eager to please somebody/anybody just to gain some political points that he is very easily persuable. He will change his mind if he hears from us. Think back to how quick he reversed his position on the track funding when he was Chair.

Anonymous said...

Why are the two issues tied together i.e., 1) retaining and recruiting retail and small businesses on the corridor and 2) funding a tax abatement for the project developer for the 3rd and H development.

The first is necessary. The second?

Derek said...

I signed it.....I think I am number 11.

The tax abatement for the 3rd & H Street development will allow work to be done and open up employment for those who are waiting. The trick is, how long will the abatement last? What is the extent of it? So, a certain amount of revenue will be held back, but the city gets it back more through local work and spending.

I want work to happen. I am tired how this economy has been and no one on the Hill is pushing for more jobs. I am tired of not having money.

inked said...

the petition says 154 people have signed so far. It only shows you the last people who signed and chose to have their names displayed.

inked said...

Last 10 people.

Derek said...

Inked, I signed it shortly after you posted the announcement not just before I made a comment. This was a a couple of nights ago.

I am not bothered by the need to have an email address included. That is why you have a junk email address for these occasions.

Hillman said...

We should be pretty concerned about Mayor Gray.

It is 'developing' areas like H Street and Trinidad that stand to suffer the most if DC's reputation and government policies go back to the Marion Barry era, which is where Gray seems determined to go.

At a minimum development and quality of life improvements could stall, and projects in the works or being contemplated are 'shelved', only to never come to fruition. Worst case scenario? We slide back toward the hell that was the 1980s and 90s.