Downtown services district budget could see 8.6 percent bump next year

(Sierra LaDuke/DD)
A subcommittee recommended that City Council approve an 8.6 percent budget increase for the enhanced municipal services district downtown. The proposed growth is spurred by increases in development downtown. (Sierra LaDuke/DD)

The budget for downtown’s enhanced municipal services district could increase by 8.6 percent this year due to new development downtown, according to Downtown Phoenix Inc. officials.

The Downtown, Aviation and Redevelopment Subcommittee recommended approval of a $3,568,641 budget for 2016 on Tuesday. City Council will vote on the budget in the near future. The majority of the money is for marketing and event efforts.

“This is a larger increase than we have done in previous years,” said David Roderique, executive vice president of Downtown Phoenix Inc., an organization focused on revitalizing downtown.

Roderique said the budget has typically increased by about 2.5 percent over the past seven years. He said the main reason for the budget increase is the influx of new development in downtown, such as the Professional Building, which is being adapted into a Hilton Hotel.

The addition of restaurants and retail stores have increased downtown’s sale tax revenue, Roderique said.

Another reason for the increased budget proposal is the growing number of events downtown.

“The dollars are flowing directly into programs and services that will benefit the downtown community,” Roderique said.

During his report, Roderique said he wanted to continue the momentum of activities and events taking place downtown and keep the community progressing.

“We are being very responsive to what our stakeholders wanted to see,” said District 8 Councilwoman Kate Gallego after the report.

Vice Mayor and District 5 councilman Daniel Valenzuela also plans to support the new budget proposal.

“We have more people, more constituents and it’s a very multifaceted approach to how we serve people,” Valenzuela said.

The budget and work plan will move to the City Council to seek tentative approval on Nov. 18. If approved, the proposed 2016 assessment letters will be sent out. City Council will hold a public hearing for financial approval on Dec. 16.

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