Brett Dolin, a law student at CUNY who has been researching the legal history of BIDs in New York City, argues that the determination of whether a BID should be established in the first place has drifted away from the original intention. According to the 1989 BID Act, a BID can be formed in a neighborhood that is in a “deteriorated condition.”
“But a lot of times the BID Act has been used to to fund totally different kinds of initiatives that have nothing to do with improving the quality of life or the commercial environment,” Dolin said. His research has focused on how a variation on a BID was being used to attempt to fund Hudson River Park in Manhattan by having a specific district of residents and business owners pay a fee for a park everyone in the city can use.
“Not only is this unfair for residents of the area, but the governing structure of a BID doesn’t lend itself to democracy,” Dolin says. “Property owners, by law, must hold a majority on a BID committee, and if they’re governing a public space, isn’t that a violation of the equal protection clause?”
Check out the rest of the article here!