The Brighton Principal Shopping District – which exists to promote the downtown with by staging events, advertising and other promotional means – will no longer be funded via a special assessment.

After hearing a large group of downtown building and business owners object to the proposed assessment, the City Council Thursday night declined to support a motion in favor of charging an assessment for downtown property owners. Businessman Bryan Bradford told council that the PSD Board could provide no proof that the money the assessment generates does any good.

PSD Board Vice President Lisa Nelson said that the PSD does a lot of good in promoting downtown Brighton, and events such as A Taste of Brighton, Ladies Night Out and the Winter Sale would not exist without its funding support.

However, several owners expressed that their taxes are already high enough, and if the Headlee override passes in August, they will not be able to afford the extra assessment to support the PSD. Some said perhaps the merchants could form a private group to promote the downtown and it could also fund the cost of events to keep them going. Assistant to the City Manager and DDA Coordinator Brandon Skopek tells WHMI that the defeat of the PSD assessment does not mean the group will disband, although its funding will end on June 30th.

The action by council followed three public forums in which merchants, downtown landlords and others were invited to weigh in on the proposed assessment. Virtually everyone who gave input at the public sessions, however, objected to the tax, saying they couldn’t afford it, while saying the current assessment did not improve their business. (TT)