It didn’t happen if you didn’t write it down

Downtown Development Authorities annual reporting fosters buy-in for community stakeholders.

One of the biggest struggles any municipal entity faces is providing effective communication to its stakeholders and Downtown Development Authorities (DDA) often fall into this rabbit hole even more than others. While annual reporting has always been a requirement for DDAs, with no specific oversight it is often a task that gets passed over or forgotten.

Providing an annual report not only keeps your DDA compliant with State requirements, but it fosters ownership with your downtown stakeholders. By sharing simple information on the basic financials and achievements of the DDA, people outside the Authority get a glimpse into what goes on over the year. Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance has been working with DDAs such as Elk Rapids, East Jordan and Bellaire through a Downtown Development Coordinator position and one of its duties is to produce easy to read, informative reports to update their stakeholders.

Basic State reporting requirements state you must include the amount and source of revenue in the account, the amount in any bond reserve account, the amount and purpose of expenditures from the account, the amount of principal and interest on any outstanding bonded indebtedness, the initial assessed value of the project area, the captured assessed value retained by the authority, the tax increment revenues received, the number of jobs created as a result of the implementation of the tax increment financing plan and any additional information the governing body or the state tax commission considers necessary. Along with this information we suggest including a brief history of the DDA, lists of completed project, and plans for the future.

By producing a readable Annual Report, DDAs can foster buy-ins from their community stakeholders and continue to grow the activities they are able to accomplish.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.” 

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