Lessons from Business Improvement Districts: Building on Past Successes

Mercatus Policy Series, Policy Primer No. 5

23 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2009  

Robert H. Nelson

University of Maryland - School of Public Policy

Erika Christensen

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Eileen Norcross

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: March, 12 2009

Abstract

Although most people probably have not heard of them, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have proliferated across the globe. Geographically defined zones authorized to collect taxes from businesses within their boundaries, BIDs have significantly changed urban governance and revived business areas. The property owners within a BID elect a board of directors who funnel the collected funds to various activities, which usually include sanitation, street cleaning, street improvements, additional security, and marketing for the business neighborhood. However, the BID model is very flexible and could be used to tackle other urban problems.

This Policy Primer provides basic background information on the history, legal framework, and past successes of BIDs, information that local governments interested in promoting BIDs within their jurisdictions might find useful. It further proposes alternative ways urban governments could give BIDs enhanced roles in local governance.

Keywords: Urban economics, local governance, business improvement districts, BIDs

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Robert H. and Christensen, Erika and Norcross, Eileen, Lessons from Business Improvement Districts: Building on Past Successes (March, 12 2009). Mercatus Policy Series, Policy Primer No. 5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1358582 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1358582

Robert H. Nelson (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - School of Public Policy ( email )

College Park, MD 20742-1815
United States
301-405-6345 (Phone)
301-718-4377 (Fax)

Erika Christensen

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Eileen Norcross

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-4930 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.mercatus.org/eileen-norcross

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