A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 03, 2005
Business Improvement District (BID)
The "Business Imrpovement District" (BID) idea started in the early 1980s and soon sprouted everywhere. Other cities across the country now have them.

Area residents agree to an increased local taxation for increased local services, such as sanitation. Anyone who has been through Grand Central has surely seen the Grand Central people cleaning the area. That's a "BID" in action.

19 February 1982, New York TImes, pg. A1:
Merchants Applaud
Self-Taxation Law
As Boon to the City

More than 100 New York City merchants and civic leaders - double the number expected - turned up at the World Trade Center yesterday to applaud what is, in effect, a new tax on business.

They appeared at a legislative conference called to discuss "business-improvement districts," a recently created legislative device that, it is hoped, will spur business improvement and neighborhood stability in New York City and elsewhere in the state.

Under the law that permitted the creation of the districts, merchants can get together and agree to assess themselves additional taxes that the city will collect as part of their regular tax bills. The money is then returned to the merchant group to be used for whatever local improvements it chooses.

13 March 1982, New York Times, pg. 25:
Urban Amenity Zones
The idea is so popular that, in addition to the four business-improvement districts already operating in the city as a result of state legislation, at least a dozen such districts recently were up for city approval, and many are planned in cities elsewhere in the state.

The City Council in effect created what I would call urban amenity zones - a modified form of enterprise zones in which the self-help approach to reating an attractive working,

7 July 1984, New York Times, pg. 22:
Letter: On BIDS
Wasting a Chance to Improve Business
To the Editor:

Among the sadder final chapters of the recently concluded legislative session in Albany must rank the State Senate leadership's arbitrary decision to kill the Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) legislation that would have allowed local businessmen to ad to their taxes and use the money to improve commercial streets in their neighborhoods. Such districts lead to increased sales volume and better municipal services.
Assembly Committe on Cities
Albany, July 5, 1984

5 January 1986, New York Times, pg. R7:
Mr. Shapiro and his commercial neighbors are part of a business improvement district, or BID. It is a legally binding tax assessment district that property owners themselves initiate to provide more services for themselves.
The first BID was formed in July 1984 in the 14th Street-Union square area. Its primary purpose was, and is, improved sanitation. The second was formed along Grand Street in the WIlliamsburg section of Brooklyn and the first for an industrial district was in the East New York section of Brooklyn.

8 November 1989, New York Times, pg. D20:
"BID's are incredibly positive neighborhodd programs and the proliferation of their number in the last several years demonstrates their proven value," said Commissioner Gary Kesner, who heads the city's Office of Business Development. The agency assists in the creation of BID's. Mr. Kesner noted that since legislation allowing them was passed in 1982, their number and influence have grown steadily.

20 November 1994, New York TImes, pg. 46:
Business Improvement Districts

Business Improvement Districts, or BID's, have sprung up across the country, but their greatest impact has been in New York City. The self-taxing districts are created by business owners to clean, patrol and upgrade neighborhoods.

(Map of 36 BIDs - ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
Work/Businesses • Tuesday, May 03, 2005 • Permalink

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