Downtown Special Service Area
SSA stands for Special Service Area (35 ILCS 200/Art. 27), commonly called a Business Improvement District (BID) in other states. In BIDs, property owners pay an additional property tax to fund improvements and enhanced services within the district’s boundaries. These services supplement those provided by City government and general property owner responsibilities.
The Downtown Rock Island SSA was established in 2022 to help address the unique needs of downtown property owners, business owners and residents. Services are provided through the levy of a direct annual tax upon all taxable property within the SSA’s contiguous boundaries, roughly the area between 1st and 7th Avenues and 13th and 28th Streets.
The City of Rock Island in 2023 partnered with the Rock Island Downtown Alliance to staff, manage and implement Downtown SSA programs. A Board of Directors helps govern and guide the use of the funds generated by the SSA.
BIDs all around the world help promote and preserve downtowns and attract investment into their districts. They provide a higher level of services that are needed to help reduce sprawl, increase walkability, improve the customer experience, attract new businesses and employers and improve property values in the district. BIDs have been proven to help reduce crime and spark increased retail activity. Cleaner streets and sidewalks help this process.