Understanding SSMID District

What is a SSMID District?

  • A "self-supported municipal improvement district" is informally referred to as a SSMID District. Generally, it is an area of contiguous property within a city - often in the downtown area - either zoned for commercial or industrial purposes or a duly designated historic district.

How does a SSMID District work?

  • A tax levy imposed on property within a SSMID District in addition to all other tax levies. The added revenues can be used for improvements to the District, administrative fees, and debt for the cost of improvements.

Can the property owners within a proposed SSMID District oppose its establishment?

  • Yes, if 25% of property owners with 25% of the value within the proposed SSMID District file written objections, a unanimous vote of the council is required. If 40% of the property owners with 40% of the value object, establishment of the District is abandoned.

How does the SSMID tax levy affect other taxpayers and Levy Authorities?

  • Only property owners within the SSMID District pay the additional tax levy. The District neither positively or negatively impact other Levy Authorities.

How much is the SSMID tax levy rate?

  • The SSMID tax levy rate is determined as part of the petition and ordinance process. The law sets no minimum or maximum rates.

Is the tax levy rate the same for all properties within the SSMID District?

  • Yes, unless the city ordinance creating the SSMID District divides it into two or more zones, or if another special Levy Authority overlapped part of the SSMID District.

How is a SSMID District amended or dissolved?

  • Procedures for amending a SSMID District are generally similar to those for creating one. A District can be dissolved by a rescission of the ordinance by the city council. However, dissolution would not necessarily eliminate a tax levy for any outstanding debt for the District.

What happens when a SSMID District overlaps a TIF Area?

  • The SSMID District acts as the other regular Levy Authorities in the TIF Area, in that the TIF takes part of the SSMID tax revenues. The amount depends on the proportion of the base and increment values in the TIF Area, as well as the amount of TIF debt.

Who decides on construction of improvements in the SSMID District?

  • A petition initiates the process. The signature requirements and approval steps are similar to that of establishing a SSMID District.