Traders in South Queensferry BID are refusing to pay levy

A number traders in a business improvement district in the Scottish town of South Queensferry are refusing to pay their BID levy because they believe the charge is too high and doesn’t return them enough benefits. The Queensferry Ambition BID charges every single business no matter how small, with the big businesses paying proportionately less. The small businesses pay 4.8% of the RV while bigger business pay as little as 1% or less, according to their business plan. But even some of the larger businesses are complaining because they say the BID is not benefiting them. And some companies are exempt from the BID levy altogether.

You can read more here.


About no2bids

A critical look at Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and worldwide. Public and private space.
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One Response to Traders in South Queensferry BID are refusing to pay levy

  1. Helen Blamires says:

    I’m a Rugby BID member who has spent the past year investigating our BID. We to have a very high % levy which has also been disguised by banding – I pay 4%. Rugby is a market town with a population of under 70,000 and yet it gets up to £650,000 per year from its levy payers. Myself and a fellow retailer have asked many detailed questions of how our money is spent and many of the answers are evasive,or not answered or just don’t make sense. My issue is that BIDs are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act because they are considered private companies despite the fact that the businesses who provide their income are forced by law to pay. Surely this should be seen as an anomaly in law and could be legally challenged?
    Also in Rugby you have to agree to the BID’s aims and objectives to be considered for a position on the Board – this is in their mandate. Therefore the 27% of people who voted who said no do not have a voice on the Board – totally undemocratic!.
    We do not feel we have a fair platform in which to raise our concerns as we do not have the time and money or are able to gain enough knowledge to present an informed objection to our fellow members. When we did attempt to raise our head above the parapet the might of our BID management went to a lot of trouble to undermine us We approached our County Council voicing concerns, they said that it was nothing to do with them despite the fact that the local council gives over £225,000 per year to our BID on top of the levy! Government and Councils want BIDs to work because it is a stealth tax and yet where is the due diligence in ensuring that the money is spent wisely ?

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