Business Improvement District (BID)
In 1988, the founding members of SJDA received approval from the City Council to form a Business Improvement District (BID) in downtown San Jose, and SJDA was selected to manage it.
The boundaries of the Downtown BID are as follows: I-280 at Fourth Street west along Reed Street to west side of Market Street to south side of Balbach Street to east side of Almaden Boulevard to continue on West Reed Street to Highway 87, Highway 87 north to West San Fernando Street, south side of West San Fernando Street to CalTrain tracks, CalTrain tracks to West Julian Street, south side of West Julian Street east to Montgomery Street, west side of Montgomery Street south to south side of West St. John Street to the Guadalupe River, north along east side of the Guadalupe River to the western most set of Union Pacific Railroad tracks, north side of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks north to West Taylor Street, south side of West Taylor Street east to Coleman Avenue, southwest side of Coleman Avenue east to Highway 87, Highway 87 south to West Julian Street, both sides of West Julian Street east to First Street, south side of East Julian Street east to Fourth Street, both sides of Fourth Street south back to I-280. Click here for map.
BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID) Q&A
What is a BID?
A BID, authorized by state law and created by the City Council, promotes and improves a specific area for the benefit of businesses within the area. All business license holders in the BID are charged an annual fee based on anticipated benefits they receive from the BID.
Who manages the BID?
The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), a nonprofit organization, has been selected by the City Council to manage the Downtown BID. Businesses that pay the BID are automatically members of the Downtown Association and elect a board of directors to determine budgets and programs.
Does the BID increase every year?
No. Since 1989, the BID has been raised three times: in 1994, when the BID boundaries extended to include the Arena area; in 2003 to include San Jose MarketCenter; and a modest rate adjustment in 2011.
How is the BID money used?
FY 2012-13, BID fees generated $712,000, about 25 percent of SJDA’s budget. The rest of SJDA revenue comes from earned income through concessions and admissions, sponsorships, grants plus contracts and fees for services. For every dollar the business community puts into the BID, four more dollars are leveraged by SJDA to improve downtown. By state law, the BID money can only be used to support general business activities, promote public events, decorate public places and provide music and entertainment in the BID area. Click here for SJDA’s 2013 financial details: Revenue and Expenses; Financial Report.
The annual fees are calculated on expected benefit. For example, retail pays more than non-retail, and large businesses pay more than small businesses. BID Rate Schedule FY2013-14.
How does the rate work for commercial landlords?
About half of the commercial landlords in the BID pay $440 a year. The fee scale is graduated upward, with landlords with more leasable space paying higher fees.
What do businesses get for their BID fees?
BID funds are spent on a variety of projects including advertising, marketing brochures, maps, websites, weekly e-letters, holiday lighting, and events. SJDA advocates on behalf of BID members, provides a strong voice for Downtown to the media, government officials and policy makers, and manages the Groundwerx clean, safe and beautiful services.
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