Business Improvement Districts - BIDs
A Facebook page has been created to facilitate the exchange of news and information of interest to BID managers, their Boards, and interested parties. Stay informed by liking "Wisconsin Business Improvement Districts - BIDs". Like the Wisconsin BIDs Facebook page.
Wisconsin Act 184, signed into law in 1984, gives Wisconsin municipalities (i.e., cities, villages and towns) the power to establish one or more Business Improvement Districts within their community and an assessment methodology that allows business properties within that geographic area to contribute to programs aimed at promotion, management, maintenance and development of that district. BID assessments are restricted to commercial and industrial properties subject to real estate tax. Tax-exempt properties (i.e., religious, public utility, or government properties) or those used exclusively as residences cannot be included in the assessment district.
The University of Wisconsin-Extension (UWEX), through its statewide network of county-based UWEX educators, is a leader in helping Wisconsin communities examine and evaluate how Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) can support their economic development plans. Read more about UW-Extension's BID education work. ( PDF, 152 kb)
Educational Support Materials
LGC Fact Sheet #9: Wisconsin Business Improvement Districts - BIDs ( PDF, 188 kb)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Related Educational Programs
Since 2003, UW-Extension's Local Government Center has helped coordinate and offer a series of annual programs aimed at educating Business Improvement District managers, their Board members and interested parties about BID operations and programming. View seminar dates.
Becker, Carol. 2008. Government without Government: Alternatives to Market and Government Failure. Hamline University Doctorate Dissertation. ( PDF, 1.1 Mb)
Downtown Research and Development Center. 2013. Business Improvement Districts: Financing Downtown Growth. Available from the Center's webpage for $29.95. This publication offers a useful structure for starting a BID, with a particular emphasis on drawing in private sector leadership and face-to-face contact. The article focuses on the steps needed to take prior to BID approval, including determining if a BID is useful for the area, gaining neighborhood support, and planning and executing a vision and budget. While there are few Wisconsin specific examples, the author offers clear examples and a strong distinction between the services, programming, and outcomes of large and small BIDs.
Law, Charles. 1992. BIDs in Wisconsin: An Interim Report. In Action News - Newsletter of the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council. June/July. ( PDF, 976 kb)
Law, Chuck. 2001. Business Improvement District (BID) Development in Wisconsin. In Let's Talk Business: Ideas for Expanding Retail and Services in Your Community. Madison, WI: Center for Community Economic Development, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Issue 55. March. ( PDF, 148 kb)
Mitchell, Jerry. 1999. Business Improvement Districts and Innovative Service Delivery. Arlington, VA: PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government, 32 p. ( PDF, 152 kb)
Mitchell, Jerry. 2008. Business Improvement Districts and the Shape of American Cities. State University of New York Press.
Below are several related Internet Resources that may be of interest. The University of Wisconsin-Extension assumes no responsibility for the quality or integrity of the sites listed. The viewpoints and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of UWEX.
Wisconsin BID Websites and Operating Plans
Appleton Downtown Inc.
If you have any questions or comments about the Wisconsin Business Improvement District web page, e-mail Chuck Law (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This page last modified: October 27, 2015
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