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      What is an SSA?


  • Special Service Areas ("SSAs"), often called Business Improvement Districts ("BIDs"), are property tax districts that fund supplemental services in high-traffic urban areas.  Services typically include, but are not limited to: public way beautification, neighborhood branding, business retention and attraction initiatives, special community events, transit improvements, and public art.

    The City of Chicago relies on a network of community organizations, dubbed "Service Providers," to manage SSAs. Mayorally-appointed SSA Commissioners (who normally are taxpayers themselves) approve all SSA services and expenditures.  Commissioners also select the Service Provider every year.

    There are currently 54 active SSAs in Chicago.  For more information on the SSA Program, visit the Department of Planning and Development.

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