A Business Improvement Districts (BID) is a special districts in which property owners (ratepayers) vote to initiate, manage and finance supplemental services above and beyond the baseline of services already provided by their local city or town governments. To finance these services, a special assessment fee is levied only on property within the district. The goal of a BID is to restore or promote business activity in targeted commercial areas. Today, there are over 1,200 BIDs in the United States alone, with additional BIDs throughout other countries.
BIDs are created by city council ordinance and require a majority vote of ratepayers. At the time of creation, the council appoints the management entity from a list provided by the ratepayers that provides services with the BID funds.
Ratepayers do not have the power to assess and collect fees. This responsibility belongs to the fiscal entity, typically the municipality of the district. The fiscal entity assures that the total assessed fees amount for the current year budget will be disbursed at the beginning of the year. The promise of sustainable and equitable funding, included in the BID-enabling ordinance, is a foundational guarantee of all BIDs.
In creating the BID, the ratepayers approve a business plan that allocates a set percentage of revenue to different activities. It is also required that a set percentage of managing entity board members be ratepayers. This provides ratepayer oversight to keep the business plan on track.
The business plan can be modified and adjusted within certain guidelines but major changes require a majority ratepayer vote. Although the fiscal entity reviews the annual budget request and past year’s performance report for compliance with the ratepayer approved budget and plan, the oversight of the operational success of the management committee is the responsibility of the ratepayers.
Ratepayers vote to create a BID because:
- They desire the increased benefits to the district
- The assessment fee structure provides adequate funds for proposed services at an acceptable assessment rate
- The services provided by the municipality will not be decreased
- The fiscal entity assures the conditions and funding (based on the total annual district assessment amount) necessary for the operation of the BID
- They (the ratepayers) have the right, through majority vote and with council approval, to change management entities or terminate the BID
This BID structure, in order to receive a majority vote and be successful, requires a shared vision, a sustainable funding mechanism, and an accountability-driven management process.
BID services enhance – and do not replace – basic City services. Funds raised by a BID are governed by property and business owners through the Property and Business Owners Committee, ensuring accountability and control by those who pay.
Pursuant to City Ordinance 38-2000, all commercial properties within the Downtown Albuquerque Business Improvement District (BID) are required to pay their BID assessment based on the millage rate of 5.8 mills (0.58 per $100 or tax value).
The Downtown Albuquerque BID is an approximate 85-square-block area, bounded roughly by 5th, 6th and 10th Streets on the west; Marble and Slate avenue to the north; the railroad tracks to the east; and Coal Avenue to the south.
BID services are budgeted on a calendar year and are billed by the City of Albuquerque Special Assessments Division, generally on December 1, with BID payments due 30 days after billing. For payment information, click here.