2009 Community Venues Message from the Mayor
January 23, 2009
As a follow up to the memo you received last week and our commitment to an open and transparent process, here is an update on the progress we’ve made related to the financing plan for the Community Venues.
As you are aware, a key element of the funding for the Venues is based on leveraging Tourist Development Tax (TDT) revenues to help build these projects. Last week, Orange County released a projected 5% reduction in TDT revenues for 2009. We do not currently anticipate any TDT revenue for 2010 and possibly not even for 2011. Furthermore, we cannot issue TDT-backed bonds for the Venues until the actual TDT revenues are realized.
As a result of these projections, the difficult financial markets and an economy in recession, there is a substantial impact on the timeline of the Community Venues. If we stay with the current funding plan and credit markets return to normal, the Dr. P. Phillips Performing Arts Center (DPAC) could be delayed two to three years and the Citrus Bowl could be delayed six to ten years or longer; however, this all depends on the recovery period of TDT.
Without the TDT revenue, we cannot bring these projects out of the ground as scheduled, but our goal is to amend the financial model to bring these projects forward without a delay of years or even decades.
Over the last week, Mayor Crotty and
I had an opportunity to discuss these projects and we both reiterated
our commitment to delivering world-class Venues and much-needed economic
stimulus to the residents and businesses of Orlando and Orange County.
Senior staff from the City and County also met to better understand the
TDT projections and examine funding sources.
We are developing a plan that allows both projects to proceed sooner than otherwise would be the case if we do nothing with the current financing plan and simply wait on the TDT to recover to a level sufficient to support the financing of the projects.
Below, please find additional information related to our work on the Venues financing plan since I wrote you last week:
We will keep you informed as we continue to develop our plans for these important, regional projects. Please let me know if you have any questions.