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Economics of the Public Sector, Public Policy Analysis and Economic Development Finance. Connecting people and resources for real results.
Founder of BuyingItBack.com
Economic Development to Address Charlotte’s Sep 2016 Protests
Proposal to Mayor Lyles and Charlotte City Council (June 2018)
Presented to the Mayor and City Council at the June 25, 2018 City Council Public Forum.
City Council Public Forum Comments
25-Jun-18 Proposed project is the only way to target investment needed to address the 2016 Protests and begin closing the redlining gap. 0:59:30 http://charlottenc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3065
16-Jul-18 The RNC is another project that makes the redlining gap worse. This project outperforms the modeled outcomes. It's not about Us. 0:23:15
22-Jul-18 Special taxes create a system based on the assumption that we have the same problems now that we had when they were established 25 years ago. No one is negotiating for us. 1:36:00 http://charlottenc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3070
22-Oct-18 I accept responsibility. This is a lack of Economics of the Public Sector. This system is making our problems worse. Using the task force report as the basis for the budget after if missed the cause of systemic racism is a problem for the City. It’s not staff it’s the lack of leadership from the Mayor 1:10:00 http://charlottenc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3095
14-Jan-19 The Upward Mobility Report was the verdict that the economic development being pursued by the City is causing income disparity. It is captures the long term use of that data. This was not Mr. McColl's intention. I was there. 1:38:30 http://charlottenc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3109
22-Apr-19 Since the Councilmembers have been too busy to discuss the role of economic development causing systemic racism, I offered to explain this to constituents. Having served as a municipal financial advisor to the taxing jurisdiction that financed Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park, I was hired by the MLB’s bank, then-NationsBank/now-Bank of America to join negotiate for the other side of the Table. I challenged the 1,696 NFL players to support the project. 1:31:00 http://charlottenc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3134
Testimony related to Economic Development
July 2017 Opposition to depleting the Tourism tax dollars for MLS Stadium and risk to the General Fund. I questioned the lack of leadership in economic development since the retirement of Mr. Hugh McColl, Jr. Covered by Charlotte Magazine’s Greg Lacour.
Senior Analyst • Indiana Dept of Commerce (Indianapolis, IN) • 1994 – 1995
Fiscal Impact Analysis
The Governor wanted to ensure the fiscally responsible use of the newly created state corporate income tax credits offered in high-profile business attraction projects (Toyota, United Airlines, Thomson Consumer Electronics, Nucor, etc).
Refined the fiscal impact model based on the one developed by the US Department of Commerce. Ensured the tax revenue from the investment repaid the income tax credit within 7 years and tailored the model to reflect the local metropolitan areas across the state and only projected new tax revenue.
Worked with the Governor's Office to create standard presentations used in economic development negotiations and communications with the public.
Geographic Information Systems
The Governor wanted to provide more robust information to companies considering Indiana during economic development site selection.
Collaborated with other state agency GIS managers to use available infrastructure and demographic data.
Developed GIS maps with relevant transportation access, industry and demographic information used in economic development site selection.
Associate • Evensen Dodge (Minneapolis, MN) • 1996 – 1997
Evensen Dodge supported municipal clients in debt financings for infrastructure, school districts, general obligation and revenue bonds. The firm wanted additional municipal finance expertise for their more complex and higher-profile economic development financings such as short term Bond Anticipation/Tax Anticipation Notes (BANs, TANs), Revolving Loan Funds, and Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
MLB Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park
The client was the Southeast Wisconsin Special Baseball Park District which was funded with a special sales tax levied by the Wisconsin General Assembly on Milwaukee County and the surrounding counties. The original financing included sales tax revenue bonds, certificates of participation (COPs), capital appreciation bonds (CABs), and a guaranteed investment contract (GIC) for the construction fund. Created cash flow projections for construction fund, reviewed sales tax revenue projections, and represented taxpayer interests in the original 1996/7 financing for MLB Milwaukee Brewers Miller Park.
Credit Issue. Advised in their original $250 million debt financing to build Miller Park for the Milwaukee Brewers. The financing was the year following the MLB Players Strike that cancelled the World Series.
Federal Tax Exemption. On 6/14/1996 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan introduced SB1880 in the 104th Congress effective on introduction to prohibit the use of the federal tax exemption for Private Activity Bonds for professional sport stadiums. Until that point a long held “gentleman’s agreement” had prevented elected representatives in the United States Congress from the practice since it effectively stopped the financing. Until the Senate adjourned sine die (10/4/1996), there was risk to potential investors that the interest on the bonds would not be federally tax exempt (see official statement.)
State and local governments require proposals to be hired as their financial advisors.
Submitted over 100 proposals to a wide range of municipalities and special taxing districts nationally in one year.
Represented the firm in interviews with municipalities and special districts (Green Bay Convention Center, Pittsburgh Stadium, others.)
Assistant Vice President • Bank of America Public Finance (Charlotte, NC) • 1997 – 1998
Recruited by the Public Finance Department of the NationsBank as Mr. McColl bought BankAmerica after interstate banking deregulation creating the first coast-to-coast bank in the country. Was a dual employee of NationsBank (consumer bank) and NationsBanc (investment bank; Series 62 license) under Glass-Steagall.
Then-NationsBank's public finance department was expanding its business in the Southeast while creating a national presence integrating with the Bank of America footprint in the West.
Wrote financial advisory proposals (RFPs) explaining complex debt financings that were submitted to state and local governments.
Developed responses to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) that were compliant with federal regulations under Glass Steagall to quickly and efficiently respond to municipal RFPs nationwide.
Represented the group in municipal interviews with elected officials.
Operations Manager • Char-Meck Workforce Development Board (Charlotte, NC) • 2003 - 2005
Performance Measurement and Federal Funding
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board (now CharlotteWorks) leverages federal retraining and state unemployment funds to deliver employment services locally. While the Board is responsible for those working and residing in Mecklenburg County, it also support major employer incidents such as the closing of Pillowtex in Kannapolis as a result of NAFTA. (Kannapolis was one of the last cities in North Carolina dependent on a textile mill.)
Part of a coordinated effort by the NC Employment Security Commission and NC Department of Workforce Development to provide emergency support to the displaced employees. Helped identify staff resources and administrative support for a temporary office at the plant. Supported an all-hands-on-deck outreach to the businesses in the region for a targeted job fair and education opportunities available under the Trade Act Assistance Program (TAA.)
The Board was failing nine of 13 federal performance measures and risked losing its federal funding. Identified data entry errors were due to lack of training by NC Department of Commerce on the IT system was driving the failing performance scorecard. Implemented training program for program managers.
Increased reported outcomes to exceeding 11 of 13 goals in the first year. This increased WDB retraining funds 375% to $3.5 million annually. Responsible for clean audits from US Dept. of Labor, NC Department of Workforce Development, City of Charlotte, and 501(c)3 SOX audit. The dramatic increase in federal performance measures also triggered the first US General Accounting Office audit of a local area. (US Department of Labor Federal Grants Administration Certificate). The audit had no findings.
Public-private Land Use / Zoning
Mecklenburg County obtained FEMA funding to buy back private property to curb the “flood-build-repeat” cycle and better prepare for natural disasters while make long overdue improvements to Briar Creek at the naturally occurring low income housing (Doral/Cavalier Apartments.) FEMA required more stringent floodplain building restrictions. During the land acquisition, City of Charlotte Zoning proposed building restrictions that represented an uncompensated taking by the County.
I explained the complicated interjurisdictional public policy arising from utilizing federal funding by Mecklenburg County with City of Charlotte Zoning. I represented neighbors on an uncompensated basis during months of working group meetings with the Charlotte City Council Environmental Committee which was chaired by then Councilmember Anthony Foxx. (See Chantilly Neighborhood Association newsletter Fall 2016; Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary.)
The original bungalows in Chantilly from Lorna to Briar Creek would not have been permitted to make major improvements greater than approximately $20k. The negative financial impact to neighborhood homeowners was eliminated. References: Former Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx under President Obama and former Mayor Patsy Kinsey.
Master of Public Affairs • 1994 • Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (Bloomington, IN)
Experiential Component: Advisor Professor Kurt Zorn
Indiana Department of Transportation: Interstate equity of FHWA Funding Formulas under ISTEA. I reported to INDOT’s CFO Dennis Faulkenburg.
The federal tax paid at the gas pump flows back to the states through federal highway act funding formulas that match state expenditures for things like lane miles of construction, maintenance or congestion mitigation. INDOT’s CFO wanted to know how to spend limited state transportation dollars to maximize the amount of gas tax the state would receive from Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”). I identified that “donor” states like Indiana and North Carolina that received back significantly less than 100% of the gas tax dollars paid at the pump were subject to an overall cap on their funding. There was no way to increase the overall return so the best strategy for the remainder of the Highway Act (Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, “ISTEA”) was to optimize spending in the funds with the greatest spending flexibility.
Mr. Faulkenburg used the analysis to build bipartisan support from other donor states like North Carolina and five years later Congress adopted Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (“TEA-21.”) Indiana's return on each $1.00 sent to the federal government in highway taxes increased from $.78 to $.905 under TEA21.
TEA-21 was in effect 1998 – 2003 and represented a 16% increase in annual FHWA funding returned to Indiana with a comparable increase other donor states like North Carolina.
Capstone Project: Professor Kurt Zorn
Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners: Tax Increment Finance
Indiana has a state constitutional amendment preventing the issuance of General Obligation debt. Many of the more creative financing instruments like Lease-Purchase Agreements, Certificates of Participation (“COPs”), and, in economic development, Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) were used in Indiana to allow elected officials to issue long term debt without voter approval. These also carry more market risk making them significantly more expensive than voter-approved General Obligation bonds (“GOs”).
Professor Zorn served as Chair of the State Board of Tax Commissioners under then-Governor Evan Bayh and needed to update the rules implementing TIF (Indiana Administrative Code). I worked with municipal financial advisors and attorneys who had served as Bond Counsel in Tax Increment Financings to reflect numerous changes in the state statutes.
Bachelor of Arts • 1990 • DePauw University
Academic Advisor: Professor Gary Lemon. Senior Economics Seminar with Professor Lemon included a class with visiting MIT-Sloan School of Management Dean Professor Lester Thurow.