Council Overrides County Executive Veto of Silver Spring BID, Then Supports Changes to State BID Law

The County Council yesterday overrode by a vote of 8-1 the county executive’s veto of a bill that would establish a business improvement district in downtown Silver Spring; Councilmember Will Jawando (D-At Large) was the sole “no” vote.

County Executive Marc Elrich vetoed the bill, which council passed in July, on August 9 and the council promptly announced it would vote to override his action.

Yesterday’s vote came despite a request earlier this month from the District 20 delegation for support to changes in state legislation allowing a BID that, in their view, would address “significant concerns over several provisions of the BID structure and governance. As a result of these issues, we believe the voices of small-and-minority-owned businesses in Downtown Silver Spring – the economic engine of the community – are diminished.”

The board of Fenton Village Inc. then asked the council to allow the veto to stand pending possible changes to the law.

After voting to override the veto, council then unanimously approved a resolution from Councilmember Evan Glass (D-At Large) to support changes to state law “that would assist in the establishment of future BIDs in Montgomery County that further advances the County’s adopted racial equity and social justice law and economic development strategy,” according to the staff report.

The Silver Spring BID now will, quoting from the staff report:

  • establish a business improvement district in Silver Spring to provide marketing and
  • promotions for the District;
  • establish guidelines for the District;
  • establish a District that has the same boundaries as the Silver Spring Urban District;
  • continue to require the Silver Spring Urban District to provide clean and safe services for the
  • District under its existing authority;
  • require a 9 member Board of Directors for the business improvement district that includes
  • 3 owners of property assessed at more than $20 million, 2 owners of property assessed at $20 million or less, 1 business employing more than 50 employees in the District, and 3 businesses employing 50 or less employees in the District; and
  • authorize a tax on nonexempt property located in the District to finance the operations of the district corporation.

Council will have to establish the BID tax for FY2023 beginning July 1, 2022.

Silver Spring BID graphic

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