Special Improvement Districts

The City of Billings has chosen to utilize the practice of Special Improvement Districts (SID) for the construction of certain public improvements. This practices ensures that tax dollars are spent on an equitable basis and keeps general taxes as reasonable as possible.

What is a Special Improvement District?

A Special Improvement District (commonly referred to as an SID) is a group of properties that become a legal entity in order to construct public improvements. Some improvements that can be constructed through an SID include curb and gutter, sewer main, storm drain, street paving, and water main. Improvement costs are carried by property owners within the SID boundaries.

For additional information regarding SIDs, please contact the City Engineer’s Office at 406-657-8231.


  1. Creating a District
  2. Design, Construction & Funding
  3. Project Costs & Assessments

Initiation of a District

One or more interested property owners may request creation of a district. An informal petition may be obtained from the City engineer's office. Although the petition may be submitted bearing the signatures of any number of property owners, it is most helpful if at least 51% of the property owners within the proposed district boundary indicate an interest in having the improvements constructed.

Neighborhood Meetings

Neighborhood meetings to inform property owners about the district may be set up. The City engineer's office, or a consulting engineer, will often attend meetings to provide information because property owners may have technical questions concerning boundaries, improvement design, or the method of assessment. 

The City recognizes these issues can be influencing factors in the decision to create the district, so every effort is made to have City staff on hand to answer property owners' questions.

Next Steps

After the City receives a property owner petition, the City must follow specific guidelines established by State Law to create the district.

Step 1: Resolution of Intent to CreateStep 2. Public NoticesStep 3: Right of Protest
After review by appropriate City departments, a report is forwarded to the City Council regarding:
  • Assessment and bonding data
  • Boundaries
  • Cost estimates
  • District maps
  • Ownership
The City Council bases their decision to adopt the Resolution of Intent to Create upon this information.
After the City Council adopts the Resolution of Intent to Create, the City will publish a notice in a local newspaper and mail notices to all affected property owners within the proposed district. A public hearing date is also scheduled after the conclusion of the 15-day protest period.State Law gives all property owners within a proposed district the right to protest. The 15-day protest period allows property owners to submit formal written protest to the City Clerk. A 50% protest (75% on sanitary sewer) from affected property owners can kill a district.