Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District

Information Summary

A self-supported municipal improvement district has been referred to as a SSMID District. A proposed district includes an area of contiguous property within a city-most often in a downtown area-either zoned for commercial or industrial purposes or for a designated historic district.

Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Des Moines and Fort Dodge all have SSMIDs. The City of Davenport has three SSMIDs: Downtown Davenport Partnership, Hilltop Village Campus and the Village of East Davenport.

Costs associated with SSMID activities are funded by a self-imposed tax levy on property within the SSMID District. Revenues received by the district may be used to fund district improvements, administrative costs or to pay debt related to costs for improvements.

A city council initiates the process to establish a district by filing with its clerk a petition containing the signatures of at least twenty-five percent of all owners of property within the proposed district. These signatures together must represent ownership of property with an assessed value of twenty-five percent or more of the assessed value of all of the property in the proposed district. A description of the boundaries of the proposed district or a consolidated description of the property within the proposed district shall also be provided, along with a name for the district.

Additionally, the petition filed by the council, asking a district to be established, should include: the name of the district; the purpose of the district; the property proposed to be included in the district; the maximum rate of tax which may be imposed upon the property of the district.

A non-profit SSMID organization would be led by a board of directors made up primarily of property owners within the district. Community and business members might be included on the board, as well. Residential properties will not be subject to a tax levy for the district. Property, however, including both residential units and a business, would be subject to a tax levy.