Fine tuning the facts on an otherwise good report on last night's RDA Session
By Dan Schroeder
Some responses to the details of Scott Schwebke's morning story, concerning last night's RDA session:
2. Godfrey's apparent denial that he intends to use this revenue as collateral on additional debt is extremely misleading. I wasn't there to hear everything he said, but the direct quote isn't a denial at all--he's merely pointing out that this particular action doesn't create any new debt. Godfrey wasn't even there when McConkie admitted, repeatedly, that his office intends to pursue a "partnership" with a major hotel, backed by this tax increment. That's just a polite way of saying the city would take on new debt.
3. The article says that "tax increment from The Junction nearly matches projections made when the city bought the mall property", according to McConkie. I don't know what projections he's thinking of, but the actual tax increment is only about 1/3 what the city promised it would be in a newspaper ad and utility bill insert in 2007.
4. The Junction's total bond debt in 2005 was over $36 million, not $22.4 million as Schwebke claims. He's forgetting the two additional bond series for the Salomon Center. As of this year, very little of the principal has been paid off on these bonds, and there have been additional refinancing charges, so the debt currently stands at about $34 million. (These total figures omit the $2 million portion of the $22.4 million that was for the American Can district, not the Junction.)
5. Similarly, the figures that Schwebke gives for the annual bond payments are only for the largest bond series. The payments on the two other bond series totaled an additional $1.1 million (about half from Salomon Center lease payments and half from tax increment from other RDA districts).