Multiple sources within the city administration now confirm that Mayor Briley’s parking privatization plan will be deferred indefinitely, effectively killing the plan.
Mayor Briley’s Office declined to comment on this developing story, or the impact it would have on the budget. The plan will likely be reconsidered after the election.
UPDATE: Briley released a statement, in part:
…it is clear to me that residents still have questions about the merits of this proposal. Residents need more time – and it is unfair to the public and to Council to rush this process. Worse yet, others are using misinformation to further confuse and scare people. It’s politics at its worst.
For these reasons, I am hitting the pause button on this proposal. I have asked the sponsors of the ordinance to defer it until we can have a more comprehensive discussion. We have time to keep talking, and we should take it. Let’s get past the noise of the election season and allow everyone to get their questions answered.
M–Statement from Mayor Briley
What about the Budget? Metro Finance says for FY20, the city will use the savings from a MDHA refinance plan to cover the loss of income from the parking privatization plan. Here’s the statement issued from Metro Finance:
Since the administration’s budget was filed, the Finance Department has received the report from the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Study & Formulating Committee. One of the report’s stated observations was that the amount of tax increment being used to pay TIF loans has increased in recent years, making it more difficult for Metro Finance to correctly plan the city’s operating budget. The report further stated that MDHA and Metro Finance should continue to collaborate to more accurately project the tax increment dedicated to TIF loans years in advance.
In the spirit of the report, MDHA has identified an opportunity to bundle and refinance the outstanding TIF loans which will result in significant annual savings for the general fund. Doing so will create the desired consistency and certainty in the amount of tax increment needed each fiscal year, and the newly available savings from the refinance will recur every year over the term of the new financing arrangement.
For FY20, the city will use the savings from the refinance to pay debt service as the proceeds from the parking concession agreement would have done. When the parking modernization legislation ultimately passes, the FY20 savings realized from the TIF loan refinance will go into reserves. In future years, these savings will go into the general fund.
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