Because I live in the Bay View neighborhood of the City of Milwaukee, I have been watching the drama surrounding the Bay View Business Improvement District for years. This week a petition to have the BID terminated was submitted to the city.

It isn’t a big deal to me one way or the other. It seems the argument is between business owners who no longer see the need for a BID and those who want to expand it…for who knows why. Plus the alderman is big supporter but his stock has fallen in the area recently.

But here’s the interesting tid bit in the article. To be successful, the petition needs to be signed by greater than 50% of the property value in the BID. Not 50% of the business property owners in the BID, but 50% of the property value.

So if my BID were say $100 million in total property value and there were 50 property owners…but I owned $50,000,001 of that property…I can just say flock you to the other 49 property owners in the BID? Seems kinda undemocratic to me.

Editor’s Note July 8, 2018. Adding this portion of the linked article for math clarity!

Wisconsin law says a city will end a business improvement district if a termination petition is filed by the owners of commercial properties with assessed values totaling more than 50 percent of all the district’s assessed value.

3 Responses to What I Learned About Milwaukee Business Improvement Districts Today

  1. Dave says:

    That’s not how it works…in your example your property value would only count as $1 million

    • Ed Heinzelman says:

      In my example there are 50 property owners. The total properties are worth $100,000,000. MY PROPERTY is worth $50,000,001. I have more that 50% of the property in the BID so my vote is the majority. The other 49 owners could own any combination of the $49,999,999 that is left.

      How did you determine that my property is only worth a million dollars? I stated it’s value in the blog post.

    • Ed Heinzelman says:

      I am adding an excerpt from the JSOnline article that describes the petition process.

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