LOS ANGELES-Merchants and building owners in a 24-block chunk of Chinatown have voted to create their own Business Improvement District and essentially tax themselves nearly $1.2 million a year to improve their area.

The new BID becomes the 27th in the city. The Chinatown BID will be governed by a board of local property and business owners, including developer George Lee.

The BID’s initial budget will be $1,175,223. Opponents of the proposed district, which passed 56 to 43, said it would “double tax” property owners.

Backers of the idea countered that attempts to revitalize the area on the north end of Downtown have failed, resulting in high vacancy rates and a decline in an area once popular with tourists and locals alike.

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