At the steering committee's first public meeting last month, Howard and other committee members explained the plan for the district and the additional tax that business owners would be assessed. The group is developing a five-year plan that will eventually go to City Council for approval.
The tax for special-services districts throughout the city, according to Howard and Denis Murphy, the city Commerce Department's manager of business-improvement-district programs, runs between 5 percent and 20 percent of properties' real-estate taxes. They said the tax in Germantown's district will likely be 10 percent to 15 percent of the real-estate taxes in the area.
The money will eventually be managed by staff hired to run the district, Howard said, and will be used to provide services such as cleaning.
Some business owners were hesitant when they heard about the tax.
"What are the pros? What will they do with [the money]?" asked Mark Lightfoot, who owns Philadelphia Hair Co. on Germantown Avenue near Price Street. "As long as it got up and running again, I would support it."
Mohamad Sakar, who owns Gennaro's Famous Pizza on Chelten Avenue near Wayne, said if business owners see real change from the district, he supports it.
"If we're just paying money for nothing, that's a different story," he said, adding that trash cleanup and parking near his shop are issues he'd like to see addressed.
About a block away, at Wired Beans Cafe on Chelten Avenue near Pulaski, Germantown native and cafe owner Robert Wheeler, 37, also a steering committee member, said he sees Germantown getting better with the district being re-established and other development coming into the neighborhood.
"Everyone cares about Germantown," Wheeler said of the steering committee. "There are so many good people putting their minds together."
On Twitter: @morganzalot