Economic Improvement Districts Legislation Passes House of Representatives Committee
Today, the Indiana House of Representatives committee on Small Business and Economic Development voted 11-0 in favor of House Bill (HB) 1102. HB 1102 deals with Economic Improvement Districts. This bill is a priority for IACED in this legislative session. The legislation is authored by Rep. Sullivan. You can link to the legislation summary and track the current status of the legislation here.
Economic Improvement Districts are an important tool in accomplishing the important work of revitalizing commercial corridors in downtowns and neighborhoods. Economic improvement district (EID) are codified in state statute at IC 36-7-22. In many states and communities what is referenced as an EID in Indiana is called a business improvement district (BID). An EID is a public-private partnership in which taxpayers in a defined area pay an additional assessment or fee in order to fund improvements within the district’s boundaries.
EID’s provide services, such as cleaning streets, providing security, making capital improvements, and marketing the area. The services provided by EIDs are supplemental to those already provided by the municipality. Newer shopping centers typically cover the cost of such supplemental services through mandatory Common Area Maintenance Fees that all tenants are required to pay but this is impossible in older commercial districts in which many separate individuals own the commercial buildings. This lack of a mechanism to collect funds from individual tenants and property owners has placed traditional downtowns and commercial districts at a competitive disadvantage with newer shopper centers.