Business Improvement Districts
- A BID levy is an additional charge placed against each relevant property within a defined geographical area.
- The BID levy is designed to enhance the designated area that it covers, for the benefit of all businesses – this could include but not limited to; Additional Police, Improved Signage, Remedial Work to Improve the Area, Localised events.
- Must be voted in by resolution and a ‘yes’ vote must account for 50% of the ratepayers and those ratepayers must have 50% of the aggregate RV charge within the designated area.
- A BID levy is usual payable by the occupier of the property, in the cases of empty properties the owner will be liable.
- BID schemes can place the charge against the “Legal” owner (both freehold and leasehold – subject to certain conditions) rather than the occupier of a relevant assessment, however, there are only a handful of owner BID schemes currently operating within the United Kingdom, these are referred to as BRS BIDS as these must be in an area where a ‘Business Rates Supplement’ BRS is applicable for Business Rates within a defined area, as noted in the England guidance there currently is only one BRS scheme in operation, this being the ‘Crossrail Supplement’ within Greater London Authority.
- A BID Levy is usually for a period of 5 Years; however, an annual liability is charged.
- If liability starts during a BID levy period, levy will start from that date. However, the ratepayer will have no right to vote until the next resolution, some BIDs have ‘Locked in Billing’ this means that whoever is responsible for the Business Rates on 1st April, will also be liable for the BID and any amendments made in the financial year are ignored.
- The BID levy can be capped.
- The BID levy is based upon the RV of the property – this is usually a %.
- The BID Levy for the entire period of the BID can be based upon the RV on a set date (e.g. Period 1st April 2015 - 31st March 2020 could be based upon the RV on 1st April 2015 and any RV amendments would be ignored).
- An independent company administers the BID funds, however in most cases the collection and enforcement are conducted by the Billing Authority that the designated BID area falls within. Payment is compulsory and failure to pay can result in recovery action being taken in the same manner as for the non-payment of Business Rates.
- Exemptions and Discounts are discretionary and the offering of these are individual to each BID Company and scheme.