Let’s nip this BID in the bud!

Business Improvement District (or “BID”) is a designated area of a community that has a board. This board is granted powers by City Council. These powers were entrusted to City Council by you, the voter. The Rochester Downtown Development Corporation (RDDC) has access to nearly $5,000,000 in public and private funding to “Show what a BID can do!” and get City Council to vote for it’s creation. The RDDC hid from the press and focused the public and Council’s attention on artwashed projects and events to distract the community from learning that:

  • A BID is able to levy additional taxes (up to 20% more) on properties within its boundaries, collected on top of other city property taxes.
  • The BID Board, made of a majority of property owners, gets to decide how and where use those public funds for additional services in public spaces, like private security “ambassadors”, sanitation, infrastructure “improvements”, marketing, economic development, and events. 

If it’s not stopped, a BID will work behind closed doors to make rules, control access to public spaces, and spend public money without public accountability. They will hire private security and control the stage within a space that encompasses all of Downtown Rochester! 

Our community is still working through the trauma caused by racist housing policies and systematic disinvestment. Make no mistake, this is 21st century redlining. There is room for thoughtful development without displacement, but this BID is inherently undemocratic and is a dangerous power grab. Just because it is codified into NYS law doesn’t make it right. We cannot allow this Business Improvement District to pass, we need to nip this BID in the bud!

Say NO now while your voice can still be heard.

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