Just as Mayor Bloomberg was announcing his "Vision 2020" plan for our miles and miles of waterfront, one of the the crown jewels of the Park's Department is looking for cash. The Hudson River Park, which will eventually hit 550 acres when it finishes around 2018, has started the process to create a neighborhood improvement district to raise funds for its budget with new taxes.

The boundaries of the district have yet to be finalized, but they will likely include 1,700 properties up the Hudson. The Friends of Hudson River Park hope it can generate between $5-$10 million annually from taxes earned through the BID. But first they have to have the district voted on and approved by at least half of those in it. And considering the way that real estate values have jumped since the park began construction in the late '90s, a little tax money seems the least property owners on the waterfront could do. In 2008 the Friends estimated that "Approximately 20% of the value of properties within the first two blocks of the Greenwich Village section of the Hudson River Park can be attributed to the park."

And the Hudson River Park isn't the only waterfront park looking into the idea of a BID. The financially precarious Brooklyn Bridge Park has also been exploring the option, though its much smaller footprint and less developed surroundings mean that in the last estimate a BID there would make merely $1-$4 million annually. Currently the BID with the largest tax assessment in the city is the Downtown Alliance, which pulls in about $13 million a year.