The “Downtown Tucson Enhanced Municipal Services Improvement District,” known as the Business Improvement District, or BID, was formally adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Tucson in 1998 pursuant to state statue and with desire from private property owners.
The BID is a taxing mechanism allowed by the State of Arizona to provide enhanced services to a specific geographic area. BIDs are common throughout the United States and are most often used in downtown areas and shopping districts. In a BID, each property owner is assessed a portion of the costs of the BID based on the value or size of their property and its improvements.
BID Assessment Formula for FY23-24
$0.07868 X ([lot square feet X 2] + [building square feet])
The Downtown Tucson BID assessment is based on the square footage of both land and buildings and is calculated using a formula set forth in Resolution 17966, the 1998 resolution establishing the BID, with 2.5% annual adjustments since 2008 to compensate for inflation. Merchants that lease space are not directly assessed; however, their landlords may pass on these additional taxes through their leases. Residential properties with less than four total units are exempt from paying a BID assessment. As of 2023, there are approximately 120 property owners and 387 total properties in the BID.
The City of Tucson has contracted with the Downtown Tucson Partnership (“DTP”) (originally under a different name) to provide enhanced services funded by the BID assessments since the BID was created in 1998. This Enhanced Services Agreement (“ESA”) is also set to expire every five years in tandem with the BID. Both the BID and ESA have been extended by the Mayor and Council every five years since 2003. Both the BID and ESA were up for renewal in 2023; the former received zero formal objections from BID property owners, while the latter was unanimously approved by Mayor and Council for the second renewal in a row, the last five year renewal being in 2018.
The DTP was formed specifically for the purpose of providing enhanced municipal services to the BID, which the City of Tucson has determined in the ESA, that DTP can do more efficiently and effectively. Services provided to properties within the BID include streetscape maintenance, security, and, to a lesser extent, marketing, public relations, advocacy, and economic development.
Learn more about what the DTP does by watching this short two-minute video:
54 Block Area
8.2M Building Square Feet Assessed
73 Food & Drink Establishments
82 Shops, Service & Entertainment Establishments
8 Theatre & Performance Venues
1055 Multi-Family Residential Units
4 Sun Link Streetcar Stops with an Average Daily Ridership of 2,400 Passengers
Ronstadt Transit Center is one of three transit centers in the city
80% of Metro Tucson's visitors visit downtown (Visit Tucson)
As mentioned above, private properties located in the BID pay a special assessment on their property tax bill based on the annual assessment formula. Government-owned properties are exempt from paying an annual assessment, however the City of Tucson (through the Enhanced Services Agreement), Pima County and Rio Nuevo all contribute in lieu of what they normally would be assessed if their properties were privately owned. The DTP President & CEO raises additional funding through generous sponsors and partners.
Collectively, the BID assessment dollars with additional fundraising, fund the DTP's services:
These services are carried out by DTP's dedicated team of Staff and Ambassadors. The DTP's activities and expenditures are governed by a diverse Board of Directors. The DTP reports on all of its activities and expenditures for each fiscal year through its Annual Report.