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Business Improvement Districts

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1 page
This Web page addresses frequently asked questions about business improvement districts (BIDs) in Los Angeles, which are geographically defined areas within the city in which services, activities, and programs are funded through a special assessment, that is charged to all members within the district.
One question posed is "Who invented the business improvement district concept?" The answer given is that business communities initiated the concept; the idea of paying for special benefits as a form of local economic development in California is generally based on a State statute known as "The Parking and Business Improvement Area Law of 1965." Another question posed is "What are area-specific programs?" A special assessment pays for programs and services that are tailored to the area as defined by the BID. A variety of activities and improvement are authorized for BIDs and defined by State law. These services, activities, and programs are referred to as "improvements." A third question posed is "How does the city benefit from the BID program?" The city benefits from the pride and satisfaction that results from demonstrations of willingness by the diverse business communities throughout the city to assume an increased level of authority regarding the areas where businesses are located. The city recovers a portion of the salaries and other expenses directly related to the BID program. Other issues addressed are when the Los Angeles city-wide BID program began; where the BIDs located; where more information about the program can be obtained; how BID improvements are decided; how to become involve in forming a BID in one's own area; what happens if the BID does not meet members' expectations; and whether the assessments constitute another tax imposed on one's business, albeit by choice.