You know, we've all been having fun bashing poor old Jaws "I read a book by Ayn Rand" Canuckistani. However if you take away the penchant for absolutes (democracy always sucks...all politicians are incompetent demagogues...etc.) he has been trying to make a point that has some merits.
But I don't offer you opinion. I offer you a press cutting. Many parts of NYC have been turned around by BIDs (not least, Bryant Park). Further, I think one can argue that the example of what a little effort could do helped the greater polity realize that turnaround was possible and indeed not even that difficult. If you read the article to which I link, what I find striking is the amount of space dedicated to the CONs of BIDs and the nature of the criticism.
I don't think you have to be a libertarian to detest the saccharine and, yes, demagogic bullshit that some opponents peddle when all that is being discussed (in BIDs) in the need for local owners to take some ownership of their environs through self-taxation and some common sense.
The main criticisms of BIDs, according to this article are:
1. They are undemocratic
2. Unfair to workers (read: they do not employ horrendously overpaid, lazy, unionized city employees)
3. too much debt, too little City hall oversight
4. Unclear Support
It goes on to say that the City Finance Committee (which perhaps is not exactly non-partisan) in a 1995 study found that "while "overall, BIDs have had a positive impact on many New York neighborhoods, BIDs nevertheless require additional oversight and in some cases serious operational restructuring." Two years later, it issued a supplemental report detailing legislative proposals to begin addressing the concerns that surfaced in the two reports."
In other words, they work well enough but they are not integrated enough in the nightmare beureaucracy that is NYC's City Hall.