A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is a commercial area within the City of Edmonton where business owners have combined efforts to enhance and promote their area.

All businesses within a BIA, including professional corporations, are members of the BIA and must pay a BIA tax. This BIA tax goes directly to the BIA association that the business is located in.

Assessment process for a BIA tax

The City of Edmonton conducts assessments annually on all businesses within a BIA by placing a value on any space occupied or used for the operation of the business.

The value is determined using typical net rents paid for similar space within the BIA. Analysis of rental information collected from landlords, tenants and building managers is used to determine the value of different types of space.

The resulting net annual rental value is based on factors recognized in the marketplace such as space type, location, quality of space and size. The typical net annual rental value is based on averages in the marketplace and may not necessarily be the same as the actual rent paid for the space.

Benefits of a BIA tax

BIAs operate as non-profit corporations. Programs, services and operations of each BIA are financed by the BIA tax. BIAs submit operating budgets annually to the City of Edmonton for review and approval by City Council.

The City of Edmonton is required by provincial legislation to collect BIA taxes and distribute those funds in full to each BIA. Business with questions about how their BIA taxes are being spent should contact their BIA's office.