After a recent discussion at the City Council meeting where the C I D issue was raised and I posted about it here a reader asked what is the C I D? This is the first time I really thought about it so I asked my friend, Dave Emanual knowing he sits on the board for the C I D. This article is his response, thank you my friend.
A Community Improvement District (CID) is an independent quasi-governmental agency that is created to improve a specific geographical business area. A CID may be wholly within a city or a county, or extend through both. An example of the latter is the Evermore CID which is largely in unincorporated Gwinnett County, but also includes areas within the Snellville city limits. The Evermore CID extends approximately 7.5 miles east from Stone Mountain along Highway 78 and ends on the east side of Highway 124.
CIDs operate as nonprofit 501(c)6 corporations and typically include a paid staff and unpaid board of directors members. In addition to those members who are elected by property owners or their proxies, a CID board includes appointees from any county and municipality within the CID borders. Gwinnett County and the City of Snellville each appoint one member to the Evermore CID board.
CIDs are formed by a group of property owners who agree to pay an additional tax on themselves as a means of paying for area improvements. Before a proposal for a CID can be brought before the state legislature, it must be approved by a majority of the owners of real property within the proposed area which will be subject to CID-levied taxes, fees, and assessments—and by the owners of at least 75 percent of the value of all real property within the proposed district.
CID activities are primarily funded by the tax that members voting in favor agreed to pay. By law, a CID cannot include residential property, and funds collected by a CID, “shall be used only for the purpose of providing governmental services and facilities which are specially required by the degree of density of development…”. In addition to the taxes and fees it levies, a CID also derives funding through county, state and federal agencies. As an example, Gwinnett County recently approved the use of SPLOST funds to pay for additional street lights within several CIDs.
Gwinnett County currently lists five established CIDs within its boundaries- Braselton, Evermore, Gwinnett Place, Gwinnett Village and Lilburn. In May, the Board of Commissioners approved a sixth, the Sugarloaf CID, which will include area near Interstate 85, Sugarloaf Parkway and Highway 316.
Although CIDs typically focus on road improvement, transportation, landscaping and maintenance projects, they may also fund other efforts to spur economic development and improve public safety. One example is the security guard service. Many CIDs contract with local police departments to provide additional patrols or hire private security companies to improve the safety and protect facilities. Local residents and business owners will remember that the Evermore CID had a private security guard service until 2014, when the service was discontinued.
As opposed to developing new areas, CIDs are focused on redeveloping and revitalizing existing areas. Long time Snellville area residents will remember the troublesome reversible lane configuration on Highway 78 that extended from Snellville to Stone Mountain. The replacement of that road layout with the current divided highway was accomplished through the Highway 78 CID which was subsequently renamed the Evermore CID.
All CID board meetings are open to the public. Meeting dates are posted on the CID web sites. The next Evermore CID board meetings are scheduled for August 24th and September 28th.