DDA budget is healthy
In addition to helping finance a portion of the city's general operating budget last week, the Downtown Development Authority also adopted its FY 2010 annual spending plan — a budget that is balanced and seemingly healthy.
"Your cash balances are all very good," said DDA Treasurer Jana Wallace to board members.
"Things are going very well in terms of your revenues and expenses," she said.
A dozen revenue sources — including two reserve accounts — contained within three separate funds will give the DDA access to almost $17 million during the fiscal year that starts in two weeks. Just two years ago, nine sources of revenue in the same number of accounts gave the DDA almost $15.6 million for FY 2008.
The DDA's largest revenue sources are the captures from school millages and from the tax payments downtown property owners make. The two have been forecast to total $12.8 million in FY 2010.
The board uses the school-tax captures to make debt payments, and that revenue has been forecast to reach $8.3 million. The DDA is likely to spend $5.3 million on debt service in the coming year and return $3 million to the school districts later in the year.
Revenue to the DDA from the local-tax fund is projected to be just under $7.5 million for the year. Property-tax receipts are expected to come to almost $4.5 million of that total in FY 2010. Another $323,535 will go to the board from the Interurban Transit Partnership's millage.
Roughly $5.6 million of those funds will be spent on support for economic development activities in the district, parks and open spaces, streetscape improvements and infrastructure upgrades. Another $530,000 will go to debt service and $1.4 million will be reimbursed. Of that $1.4 million, $815,000 will be given to developers who have made public improvements part of their downtown projects, and $575,000 will be used to cover administrative costs.
Another $137,500 will be rebated to the city and ITP for approving the expansion of the DDA's boundary early last year. Both will receive a 5 percent refund on the amount of the total tax revenue the board will capture from both in 2010.
Grand Rapids Community College and Kent County did not let the DDA capture their property-tax revenue in the expanded areas and won't be receiving refunds.
Wallace said this year's reimbursement to the city and ITP will be about $119,000. "The expansion did double the DDA in the size of acres," she said. "But much of the property there is nonprofit or (owned by) hospitals."
The DDA will also get $1.1 million in revenue from its non-tax fund. Nearly $800,000 of that amount will be transferred from the fund's balance, or reserve. The revenue pays for programs and services the DDA offers, such as marketing the district and for special events that are held downtown.
If Grand Rapids city commissioners approve the budget, the Downtown Development Authority will have nearly $17 million at its disposal from its three funds for FY 2010, which begins July 1.
Source: Downtown Development Authority, June 2009.