Minority-Owned H Street Businesses Decry Tax Increases

April 28, 2011  |  

(Afro) — Bachir Diop looked down the District’s H Street corridor at the clusters of large wooden barricades, orange mesh tape and warning signs that dominate the streetscape, evidence of the 12 blocks of construction that have closed or crippled more than a hundred businesses and properties in four years and made way for new investors to acquire property at tax sales.  “It’s devastating,” said Diop, owner of property on H Street.  Diop is among a coalition of minority-owned businesses and property owners who claim that many longtime daytime establishments have folded due to four years of disruptive construction on the H Street corridor. Many have suffered up to 100 percent loss of revenue due to customer access being impeded by road blocks, barricades, parking restrictions and zealous parking enforcement, they said.  “The construction on H Street was more devastating to my business than the crack epidemic in the ‘80s,” said Jerry Goldkind, owner of a men’s clothing store in the 900 block of H St.  Adding insult to injury, coalition members claim, tax assessments have risen as much as 350 percent in three years, forcing many businesses to end up in government tax sales.

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