Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Property & Business Improvement District (PBID)?


A Property & Business Improvement District (PBID) is an assessment district which would provide additional services above and beyond the level the City provides, within a defined area. The services would be funded by an assessment on real property, which appears on property tax bills. PBIDs are proven to work by providing services that improve the overall viability of commercial districts, resulting in higher property values and sales volumes. PBIDs provide funding for programs which work efficiently to maintain the area as a safe and inviting environment. The services are chosen by property owners and customized to fit the needs of the district. All services are designed to provide direct benefits to those who pay into the PBID.

What services can a PBID provide?


All services provided by the PBID will be in addition to the regular City services – the City cannot reduce services if the PBID is formed.


PBID services must be carefully tailored to benefit the property owners paying the assessment. They will only be provided to properties paying the assessment. Possible services include:

  • Security patrols
  • Capital Improvements
  • Clean-up crews
  • Street ambassadors
  • Marketing / Advertising
  • Advocacy
  • Signage improvements
  • Street and sidewalk sweeping
  • Graffiti removal
  • Installation of bus benches, trash can, tree wells, and art
  • Landscape improvements and maintenance
  • Special Events and Promotions
  • Removal of large debris

What’s the difference between an assessment and a tax?


A tax goes into the City’s general fund and is spent at the City’s discretion. Taxes typically pay for services such as police, fire, transportation, sewer, water, environmental issues, etc. The PBID is an assessment that provides a special benefit to the payors that is not provided to those not charged. The assessment funds are spent at the property owner’s discretion, and cannot be diverted to government programs. 

Who determines how the funds will be spent?


As part of the formation process, a survey was deployed to determine the needs of the property owners within the proposed district. Once the survey is completed, the information gathered will be used to create a service plan and cost of providing those services. The service plan will be developed into a “Management District Plan”, which is the guiding legal document for the PBID and determines how the assessment funds are to be spent. A Non-Profit Corporation will then serve as the PBIDs “Owner’s Association”, which is typically comprised of majority property owners paying the assessment, who are responsible for managing and operating the PBID, within the parameters of the Management District Plan. 

How are the assessments calculated?


At this phase in the process, we are unable to provide specific information regarding the cost or calculation of the assessment. Once the survey results are complete, the Steering Committee will be able to determine the services that are most important to the property owners, the frequency at which the services are provided and cost for providing those services. An assessment methodology will then be used to determine an assessment amount that is commensurate with the level of benefit that each property is receiving. The basis for determining the amount of each property owner’s assessment may be calculated from a variety of chosen factors including Parcel square footage, Parcel foot frontage along Santa Monica Blvd and/or Building square footage.

What is the overall process for approval?


Property owners within the district will be asked to vote on the formation of the PBID. Votes are weighted by assessment paid – because some parcels will be assessed more than others, their votes are weighted accordingly.


There are two opportunities to express support throughout the formation process. The first opportunity is by signing a petition. The law requires signed petitions in support from over 50% of the proposed assessment to be generated within the proposed district. 


The second opportunity is through a ballot process. The law requires that of the ballots that are returned, the majority of the ballots (weighted by assessment paid) must be in support of the PBID in order for it to be approved.  If City Council determines that there is majority support of the ballots returned, they may approve and adopt the PBID. 

How long will the district last?


The District will be formed for five years. After five years it will automatically expire unless it is renewed by property owners.

Are there other PBIDs in California?


Yes. There are over 200 PBIDs throughout California. Some examples include:


  • Arts District Los Angeles
  • Downtown Sacramento
  • Downtown Lancaster
  • Downtown Long Beach
  • Downtown Glendale
  • East Hollywood
  • Fashion District Los Angeles
  • Old Pasadena
  • Stockton Boulevard
  • South Park Los Angeles
  • Studio City
  • Westchester Los Angeles
  • Brentwood Village

Why should I support the HR66 PBID?


Property & Business Improvement Districts have been used by property owners throughout California since 1994, and throughout the United States since the 1970s. They are a popular, and successful, way to provide funds for extra services. Many studies have been conducted on the benefits of PBIDs. The goals of the PBID are to maintain the area as a safe and inviting environment, to bring more tenants and

shoppers, ultimately increasing property values and stabilizing occupancy. Studies have found that:


  • More activity attracts more people which increase rents and property values creating more business opportunity which means more activity and people on the street, and so on


  • Customers and residents may feel more comfortable and safer within PBIDs that have less obvious signs of litter, graffiti, and abandoned cars.


  • Areas that have successfully implemented a PBID are attracting a larger number of visitors to that area than the residential population.


  • PBIDs have been important tools in halting a long slide toward economic decline in specific districts and transforming older areas into new opportunities for investment.


  • A stronger sense of place that accompanies cleaner streets encourages patronage and has increasingly positive repercussions in PBID areas.


  • Businesses consider quality-of-life issues to be more important factors in choosing a location than they do tax rates and real-estate prices.


  • PBID areas experienced greater, on average, yearly reductions in the number of robbery, violent, and total crimes that non-PBID areas do.


  • PBIDs in the City of L.A were associated with 6–10 percent reductions in official crime.


  • Gina Trechter
    published this page in About 2017-12-08 12:26:36 -0800