Frequently Asked Questions About CIDs

What is a Community Improvement District (CID)?
A community improvement district (CID) is the most powerful public-private partnership today and has been used successfully around the country to revitalize commercial areas. It is an effective tool for financing improvements that directly enhance property values by allowing property owners to determine how funds are spent in their area. The secret to success for a CID is the ability to use funds to effectively leverage additional public and private funds. The worst performing CID in Georgia has seen a return on investment of ten to one.
How is a CID created?

A CID is a geographically defined district in which commercial property owners vote to impose a self-tax. This is set as a portion of the property tax and the millage rate is set by the commercial property owners. The proposed amount is 5 mils.

To form a CID, a simple majority of area property owners representing at least 75% of the assessed property value of the area sign an Agreement to form a CID. Funds are collected by the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner and disbursed to the board of directors elected by the property owners. The CID has full authority over the use of these funds. The CID will also be eligible of additional funds that have been set aside for Community Improvement projects.

What types of improvements can a CID make?
The Georgia Constitution specifies that funds collected through a CID may be used for seven types of applications:

  • Water
  • Public transportation
  • Street and road construction and maintenance
  • Parks and recreational areas and facilities
  • Storm water and sewage
  • Parking, terminal and dock facilities
  • Other
Who runs the CID?
The participating property owners define the purpose of the CID and elect a board of directors to represent their interests. The board is ultimately responsible for determining funding and managing the process and for identifying and retaining staffing resources necessary to conduct day-to-day operations. A Community Improvement District gives commercial property owners the ability to improve the economic condition of the area surrounding their property.
How does it work?

A simple majority of the commercial property owners, representing at least 75% of the value of the commercial property in the proposed district, must voluntarily sign an Agreement to form the CID.

The commercial property owners will elect their own board. This board will set the millage rate that will be collected to use as leverage capital. The proposed amount is 5 mils. These funds will be collected as part the property tax bill and disbursed to the CID board. The board will have full authority over the use of these funds. The CID will also be eligible of additional funds that have been set aside for Community Improvement projects.

The power of the CID is primarily two-fold. The CID funds are used as seed money to leverage much higher returns in local, state and federal funds, based on the projects and plans prepared by the CID. A single voice of one property owner has limited influence, but the combined voice of the CID has a much greater ability to directly influence action.

Who benefits from a CID?
The commercial property owners benefit through increased property values due to local improvements. Business owners and residence of the surrounding area also benefit from the improvements and activities of the CID.