Uptown SSA #34

Click here to download the Uptown SSA #34 Quick Guide

A “Special Service Area” is a contiguous area within a municipality or county in which special services are provided in addition to those services provided generally throughout the municipality or county. The cost of the special services are paid from revenues collected from taxes levied or imposed upon property within that area. Stated more simply, SSAs are local tax districts that fund enhanced services and programs, which are paid for by a localized property tax levy within contiguous areas. The enhanced services and programs are in addition to those currently provided through or by the City of Chicago.

SSA-funded projects typically include public way maintenance and beautification, district marketing and advertising, business retention and attraction, special events and promotional activities, auto and bike transit, security; façade improvements, and other commercial and economic development initiatives.

The City contracts with local non-profits, called Service Providers, to manage SSAs. Mayorally-appointed SSA Commissioners for each SSA district oversee and recommend the annual services, budget and Service Provider Agency to the City. There are currently 50+ active SSAs in Chicago.

Uptown SSA #34 was established in December 2005 and renewed and expanded in December 2014. It encompasses the major commercial corridors of the Uptown community including both Broadway and Sheridan from Irving Park (4000 N) to Foster (5200 N), parts of Clarendon and Marine, as well as the east-west streets of Argyle, Lawrence, Leland, Wilson, and Montrose. Uptown United is the Sole Service Provider for SSA #34.

Overview of SSA #34’s Work

The largest portions of the SSA budget address cleanliness, including sidewalk snow removal, additional street and sidewalk litter removal, graffiti removal, and periodic powerwashing of sidewalks. Other efforts include beautification efforts via sidewalk planters and light pole banners, public art, community events, as well as facade and safety improvement rebates.


Each SSA is governed by a local Commission that oversees and recommends the annual services, budget, and Service Provider Agency to the City. All meetings of the SSA Commission are subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act. To be eligible to serve as a Commissioner of the Uptown SSA#34 Commission, an individual must be an owner or lessee of property in the Special Service Area. The Nominating Committee strives to maintain a varied make-up on the Commission of large and small businesses, geographic distribution and residents to represent a range of interests and viewpoints within the SSA.

Questions about becoming an SSA Commissioner? Please e-mail us!

SSA#34 Executive Committee
SSA#34 At-Large Commisioners
Meeting Schedule

Budget and Work Plan

The Uptown SSA funds many special or additional services and/or physical improvements in its area. The need for an prioritization of those services and improvements are determined by the local representatives of the area who serve as SSA Commissioners. In an SSA, only the property owners that benefit from the improvements are assessed the additional tax that is used to pay for an expansion of services. Often, services that are provided by an SSA can replace services that a business pays for (e.g., snow removal). The SSA can take the incremental taxes from a group of property owners to provide common services that may have previously been paid for by individual property owners.

In 2014, Uptown United embarked on reconstitution — or renewal — of Uptown SSA #34. During the reconstitution, local volunteer stakeholders who made up the Reconstitution Committee recommended that the tax cap for the Uptown SSA remain at 0.25% of Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) for the properties within the reconstituted district. This means that, while the amount of taxes collected will vary from year to year based upon the tax rate necessary to meet budget needs, it can never exceed 0.25% of a property’s EAV. In 2015, this translated into a tax levy of $616,069. Combined with a modest carryover from the prior year budget, the Uptown SSA #34 had a budget of $ 624,069 to spend on projects, services, and improvements in Uptown. In 2015, SSA #34 is spending the programmatic portion of its budget as follows:

  • Customer Attraction – 10%
  • Public Way Aesthetics – 83%
  • Sustainability and Public Places – 1%
  • Economic and Business Development – 4%
  • Safety Programs – 3%

Current RFP’s

Uptown United is currently seeking a consultant to provide Public Relations and Social Media services for Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. Click Here to view a brief RFP describing the project.



SSA Programs
Litter, snow, and graffiti removal

Landscape Program

Curb Appeal Rebate Program

Community event grants

Decorative area banners

Public art grants

Bike enhancements

Security Rebate Program

2018 Advisory Commission Meetings

Tuesday, April 24th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, March 27th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, February 27th 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, January 23rd 2018 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda

2017 Advisory Commission Meetings

Wednesday, December 6th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, October 24th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, September 26th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, July 11th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, June 20th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, May 23rd 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, April 25th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, March 28th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, February 28th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, January 24th 2017 – 4:30pm
Meeting Minutes | Meeting Agenda