What is a Business Improvement District?
In Ireland Business Improvement Districts are legislated for by the Local Government (Business Improvement Districts) Act 2006. This Act facilitates the setting up of BID by BID proposers in an area. It also sets out the obligations and requirements of the rating authority to facilitate the proposal, time requirements and the setting up of a plebiscite.
Under the Act all rate payers in the proposed area have an opportunity to vote for or against setting up the BID. The BID runs for a period of 5 years, after which a plebiscite is held to renew it for a further 5 years. Included in the proposal is a BID Levy. This is an additional amount of money that is invoiced and collect by the Local Authority. The BID levy funds are transferred to the BID company for use in accordance with its proposal document.
The BID company is a company limited by guarantee. If the BID proposal is successful a permanent board will be elected with 12 members. Two thirds of the members have to be rate payers or representatives of rate payers. Two board members are co opted by Louth County Council – one being an executive and the other being a councillor.
The board are responsible for the governance and management of the BID company. The board can appoint officers and contractors to work on its behalf. Generally a town manager is appointed, with responsibility for the day to day management and operation of the BID company.