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Commission to Introduce Idea of "Tax Holiday" in South and West Dallas

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Not much about this afternoon's meeting of the city's Commission on Productivity and Innovation seems out of the ordinary -- save for the tiny note at the end of the agenda concerning a new item being introduced at meeting's end. It's but three simple words: "Property Tax Holiday." Which seemed interesting enough to merit a call to the commission's chair, insurance man Bill "Bulldog" Cunningham, who tells Unfair Park today the idea comes from one of the commission's members who's "heavily invested in the West Dallas and South Dallas areas."

Says Cunningham, a former City Plan Commissioner appointed to the commission by Mayor Tom Leppert, the proposal's simple: If an owner of a "distressed property" in one of those "depressed areas" wants to rehab said property, that owner should "be given a tax break to create an impetus to improve their property and the area they live in. Because more people work, and more money's borrowed, and the way to do to that in his view is to have a tax holiday and not tax the money going into that rehabbed project." It'll be the first time the idea's come before the commission, and should it "get any legs," Cunningham, "then we we will recommend to the council that this tax holiday may be invoked for this kind of a project. It's got a long way to go, but we're going to put it out there on the floor and see how it plays out." --Robert Wilonsky

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