A BID for Ballston in Arlington, Virginia

Arlington County Board voted to create a Business Improvement District (BID) for Ballston, effective January 1, 2011. Set up like a typical BID, the county will assess a surtax of 0.45 per $1000 of assessed value of taxable property with the boundaries of the BID. Ballston, a commercial and shopping district, has recently expanded its borders with new construction and the BID is intended to promote and improve the area. Fifty percent of Ballston businesses voted in favor of the new district.

The BID functions as a public-private partnership with a non-profit board that oversees the budget on behalf of the interests of commercial businesses. Robert Nelson has written extensively on the BID model as a means for cities to improve their business districts, while giving commercial property owners more say in how tax dollars are applied to making those improvements.

The BID is Arlington’s third, in addition to Rosslyn and Crystal City.