Business Improvement District

What is the BID?

The Downtown Spokane BID is a self-taxing financing mechanism providing services and improvements that enhance existing municipal services to more than 850 business owners and 350 property parcels inside the 80-block BID area. Created by the City Council in 1995 and reauthorized in 2001 at the request of the area’s business and property owners, the BID is authorized by Washington State law to aid general economic development and neighborhood revitalization. The BID focuses on key services identified by Ratepayers: cleanliness, safety, promotion, and parking.

Why does Downtown need a BID?

The current BID enjoys broad-based support for its effectiveness. Downtown businesses and property owners felt the downtown core needed enhanced municipal services to improve the central business district and make it a clean, safe, and fun destination for workers, shoppers, and visitors. 72% of business and property owners signed a petition to create the BID in 1995. The BID provides a resource for downtown business owners to pool financial resources to more effectively buy services that they need. 

How is the BID administered?

The Downtown Spokane Partnership (DSP) is a private, non-profit membership organization hired by the City of Spokane to administer the BID. DSP also conducts planning and advocacy functions. The elected Ratepayer Advisory Board (RAB) represents Ratepayers’ interests by establishing operating procedures, developing budgets, advising the City regarding assessments, monitoring service delivery, and planning for the future of the BID in an advisory capacity. Any Ratepayer in good standing can seek nomination to the board.

How is the BID funded?

The BID is funded by $100,000/year from the City of Spokane and approximately $1,132,544 in private investment, including Ratepayer assessments, business contributions to parking validation, event sponsorships, and other private contributions. The funds from the City exclusively support a portion of the Clean Team and the Security Ambassador programs. A $33,000 administrative fee is also paid to the City to administer the BID Ratepayer billing. 

How are BID assessments spent?

BID programs focus on key areas making downtown a more desirable place for businesses, shoppers, and visitors. The RAB decides how the money is spent and these allocations are reviewed annually. Similar to other BID’s across the country, the programs focus on clean, safe, marketing, and transportation.