For Immediate Release: IRS to audit 2002 City of Tucson bonds
Organization: Rio Nuevo District Board Contact: Michele Bettini 520-623-7336
The Rio Nuevo District Board is gathering what information it has in order to respond to an audit request by the Internal Revenue Service of the 2002 Certificates of Participation issued in connection with bonds issued for the purchase and lease back of the Tucson Convention Center in 2002.
The newly reconstituted District remains committed to transparency and accountability and is cooperating fully with the agency and will release the IRS audit when complete.
“This transaction was well before the reconstituted board was placed in control by the Legislature but we will provide them with all the information in our possession,” said Fletcher McCusker, Chairman of newly reconstituted Rio Nuevo Board. “We welcome the review”.
About Rio Nuevo: In 1999 voters approved the creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District (District). The District is both a municipal stadium district and a state taxing district. The voters authorized the District to receive an incremental portion of State-shared funds derived from transaction privilege taxes (i.e. sales tax called TIF Funds) collected from within the District boundaries within the City of Tucson city limits. The newly reconstituted Board is in negotiations with the City of Tucson to recoup some of the funds spent by the District and create a baseline accounting in order to proceed with the development the public voted for when they created the Rio Nuevo TIF District in 1999.
Downtown Tucson is currently home to thousands of residents and employees in a rich mix of neighborhoods. In the greater downtown area there are several hundred businesses, extraordinary artists and galleries, professional theater and performance groups and houses, art cinemas and acclaimed film series, live music clubs, world class cycling events, restaurants and an established housing market with exciting new opportunities. The center of downtown is approximately one mile from Pima Community College and the University of Arizona, the latter a renowned public research university.
In 1999 voters approved the creation of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District (District). The District is both a municipal stadium district and a special taxing district. The voters authorized the District to receive an incremental portion of State-shared funds derived from transaction privilege taxes (i.e. sales tax called TIF Funds) collected from within the District boundaries within the City of Tucson city limits. The District is a State municipal district with the powers, privileges and immunities granted to governmental, municipal corporations for District purposes: a planned multi-faceted development project, including cultural and recreational amenities and improvements, unique historic re-creations, mixed-use developments, etc. The District was reorganized by the Arizona State Legislature in the fall of 2009 and the board re-appointed in March 2010. Expenditure of the TIF Funds collected is now disbursed and managed by the reconstituted Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District Board of Directors who as of 2010 are appointed by the State’s Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Tucson at large is the beneficiary of strategic investments to stimulate the marketplace and support new private sector development. The District’s TIF Funds are to be strategically invested in public and public/private projects towards a shared vision for a vibrant Tucson city center by leveraging downtown Tucson’s unique competitive advantage as the region’s urban and cultural center.