Downtown W-B Business Improvement District
Creating a Better Downtown Together
On August 1, 2007, the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement
District (DWBBID) began providing supplementary place management,
marketing, and economic development services to the properties and
businesses of Downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Following a year of discussion and planning, the DWBBID was
originally created by City Council ordinance following the requirements
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Improvement District
Act. The DWBBID was renewed by ratepayers in 2012, and again in
2018. The DWBBID’s current authorization extends until December 31,
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a legal mechanism that
allows property owners and businesses to pool resources to effectively
address common concerns within a specific service area. Because a BID is
based upon a multi-year commitment, it provides sustainable funding so
development plans, budgets, and business strategies can be made on a
multi-year basis. The cost per business is low because all benefiting
properties pay their fair share.
The Diamond City Partnership manages the DWBBID, which serves an area
extending from Academy Street in the south to North Street in the
north. Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s property and business owners are all
partners in the DWBBID: their collective investment permits DCP to provide the shared services that have made Downtown Wilkes-Barre
cleaner, safer, more attractive, and more economically vibrant.
The 2019-2028 Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Improvement District Plan may be downloaded here, and a map showing DWBBID boundaries may be downloaded here.
DWBBID Assessment Calculations
The annual DWBBID charge is based on Pennsylvania law and calculated by a formula that applies to all
ratepaying properties, without regard to abatements or other tax
incentives provided by the City of Wilkes-Barre or other bodies. The
following explains the method used to calculate the assessed charges for
- DWBBID relies upon certified current market assessed values from the Luzerne County Assessor’s Office to calculate its charges.
- DWBBID annually calculates the total assessed value of all
ratepaying properties within the district: in 2023, that value is
- The current market assessed value of each ratepaying property (the
“basis”) is divided by the total assessed value of all ratepaying
properties within the DWBBID to generate a percentage that is then
multiplied by the DWBBID’s total annual billing amount (which is voted
on and approved each year by the DWBBID/DCP Board of Directors). The
result is the annual charge for each ratepaying property.
Here’s an example, based on a property with an assessed value of $200,000 and the 2023 total DWBBID billing amount of $227,522:
($200,000/$128,051,100) x $227,522 = $355.36
To generate a bill rate for invoicing purposes, the total annual
billing amount is divided by the total assessed value of all ratepaying
properties, as follows:
$227,522/$128,051,100 = 0.17772%
Making Online DWBBID Payments
DWBBID ratepayers may pay their assessments
online using the link below:
Make DWBBID payments here
DWBBID Balance Lookup Tool
DWBBID ratepayers may look up current balances online using the link below:
LOOK UP DWBBID BALANCES HERE
Voluntary Payments from Tax-Exempt Property Owners
While Pennsylvania’s BID law does not require the owners of
tax-exempt properties to pay mandatory assessments to a business
improvement district, it does make provisions for voluntary “fair-share”
Payments in Lieu of Assessment (PILOA). In 2023, the DWBBID has
commitments for $94,300 in PILOA payments from tax-exempt property
owners within the district.
If you have any questions about the assessment methodology or any
other aspect of the DWBBID or its operations, please contact DCP.