San Diego City Council Renews Business Improvement Districts

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Hillcrest at night. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The San Diego City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to allow the continued operation of business improvement districts that collect annual taxes for community reinvestment.

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The council appointed advisory boards for each district, approved fiscal year 2019 district budget projections and declared its intention to continuing levying and collecting taxes from businesses within each district.

Taxes are collected within each district in order to fund improvements and activities that benefit assessed businesses. Such districts have existed in San Diego since the 1970s, and are intended to revitalize older neighborhoods, attract new businesses and strengthen existing small businesses.

About 15,000 businesses within San Diego’s 18 districts are expected to contribute $1.6 million in revenue during the upcoming fiscal year. Revenue is controlled by district nonprofits that fund public improvement projects and organize marketing activities within each district.

Events include restaurant tours, block parties, farmers’ markets and holiday festivals. Business improvement districts fund some of San Diego’s most popular street festivals, including the Adams Avenue Street Fair, Gaslamp’s Mardi Gras and Hillcrest’s CityFest.

“BID association managers have developed a variety of successful marketing activities to generate business for their districts,” Neighborhood Investment Manager Elizabeth Studebaker told the council.

The council will hold a public hearing regarding the next fiscal year’s business improvement districts in May. The council is also expected at that time to authorize Mayor Kevin Faulconer to execute agreements with managing nonprofits, and the city’s chief financial officer will receive authority to handle BID revenue.

— City News Service

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