ESD Frequently Asked Questions

Along with our FAQ it may be helpful to review our Glossary and our Field Guide.

Q: What is an ESD?

A: An Enhanced Services District (ESD) is Portland’s name for a tool that business and property owners in a defined commercial area like the Central Eastside can use to fund improvements that go above and beyond normal City services (typically called a business improvement district or BID in other cities). The ESD is created, funded and controlled by district business and property owners. The Central Eastside’s Enhanced Services District is called Central Eastside Together.

Q: Why does Central Eastside need an ESD?

A: Central Eastside is changing. A lot. Current resources (private and public) are not adequate to meet the rapidly evolving needs of Central Eastside’s businesses, employees, customers and residents and mitigate the impact of increasing density. Together we must take advantage of new tools and resources to proactively shape the Central Eastside’s future.

Q: What will the ESD do?

A: Central Eastside Together was created by soliciting significant feedback from district businesses, property owners, residents and other stakeholders. District-wide crime statistics, real-time documentation of garbage, graffiti and vandalism and national best practices also informed the proposed plan (see complete Service Plan on pages 2-4). You can view more about the mission, vision, values and goals of Central Eastside Together, here.

Q: Shouldn’t the City provide those services?

A: The City of Portland provides basic services to all districts city wide. Central Eastside wants more. Central Eastside Together provides enhanced services to Central Eastside that go above and beyond the City’s service. We pay more to get more and can use the ESD to hold the City accountable to maintaining current levels of basic services.

Q: How did Central Eastside Together get created?

A: Business and property owners came together to create an Enhanced Services District (ESD). Started in 2017, the all-volunteer Central Eastside: Enhanced Steering Committee solicited input from Central Eastside stakeholders to propose the ESD and secure letters of support from business and property owners. In January 2019, the Steering Committee presented ESD and support letters to Portland City Council for approval. Approved by City Council, Central Eastside Together will be in place for 3 years, at which point the district will decide whether to continue or terminate the ESD.

Q: What does it cost and who pays?

A: Each property in the Central Eastside Together boundary pays a rate (called a ‘Property Management License Fee’ in Portland) based on the size, improved value and usage of their land/building. Together, we will raise $1.2 million/year which will leverage an additional $1.4 million in City funds for a total Year 1 budget of $2.6 million. The Property Management License Fee will increase 2.3% annually over the 3-year life of the ESD. The Property Management License Fee formula is below. All properties pay upon approval of the ESD by City Council.


Properties in the ESD are assessed a ‘Property Management License Fee’ annually using the following formula:

  1. Improved Value – $0.45 per $1,000 of improved value
  2. Building Square Footage – $3.50 per 290 square feet of improvements less parking
  3. Land Square Footage – $0.020 per square feet of land owned
  4. Annual Escalator – 2.3% annually starting in the 2020 license year. Note: figure is equal to the 10-year average of Portland’s consumer price index (CPI -W1).

This formula is expected to generate $1,200,000 in Year 1 and $4,100,000 over the proposed 3-year life of the ESD (2019-2022). It will be matched with $1,400,000 year in parking demand management (permit and meter) revenue.

Please note that the City of Portland handles all billing.

More details about bills and fees can be found on the City of Portland ESD page.

Q: I have a billing question, who can I talk to?

A: All billing is handled by the City of Portland, please reach out to Roger Koppy. More information can be found here.


Phone: 503 865 2857

Q: What are the boundaries?

A: Central Eastside Together includes 8 Zones: Zone Map

  • Zones 1 – 7 include Graffiti, Cleaning and Safety for All Services
  • Zone 8 includes Graffiti and Cleaning Services

Q: I need a service done on my property, what do I do?

A: Please visit our Central Eastside Together Services page for detailed information about requesting services.

Q: Are there other ESDs in Portland?

A: Yes. Downtown and Lloyd both have ESDs. However, because of the unique needs, demands and types of buildings and businesses in Central Eastside, Central Eastside Together is a different kind of ESD with innovative programs created specifically by Central Eastside for Central Eastside.

Q: How do I know that Central Eastside Together is working?

A: Central Eastside Together tracks all services and provides regular district reports. You view all reporting here

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