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 business area.
Through services, programs and event production, BIAs help promote their areas as business and shopping destinations. The membership of a BIA consists of local business owners, with each BIA governed by a member-appointed board.
All businesses within a BIA, including professional corporations, pay a BIA tax. This BIA tax goes directly to the BIA association that your 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 in support of each business district are financed by the BIA tax. BIAs submit operating budgets annually, for review and approval by City Council.
The City of Edmonton is required by provincial legislation to collect BIA taxes and distribute those funds to each BIA for the purpose of implementing the specific improvements approved by the membership within each zone.