FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY VOTERS
Q. Why does Littleton’s downtown need a DDA?
A. Downtown Development Authority (DDA) provides local control and up to two dedicated revenue streams solely for infrastructure and operational priorities within the DDA boundary. As many of us have noticed, downtown is far from reaching its full potential as a safe, vibrant and welcoming gateway into Littleton. Parking is difficult, there’s no central gathering place for shoppers and pedestrians, and our rights of way are overgrown with weeds and dying trees. A DDA puts local stakeholders in the driver’s seat for prioritizing and addressing infrastructure, landscaping, security and connectivity issues unique to downtown.
Q. Have voters elsewhere in Colorado approved the formation of DDAs?
A. DDAs are a common form of local government across our state. Voters in several Colorado communities have created DDAs, including in Brighton, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Crested Butte, Denver, Fort Collins, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Longmont, Thornton, Greeley and, most recently, Englewood.
Q. How much will passing 3C and 3D cost residents, property owners and tenants?
A. Voter approval of ballot issue 3C will cost voters nothing. Tax increment financing (TIF) means that property tax revenue stays at the same rate with a small portion from each taxing entity allocated to the DDA. Voter approval of ballot issue 3D - the 3.0 mill levy - will raise the current mill levy rate from 98.41 to 101.41 – a bit less than a 3% increase. A property owner that pays $2,000 a year in property tax in 2022 will pay a little less than $60 more in following years, for example.
Q. What is Ballot Question 3F?
A. Ballot Question 3F asks for voter approval to form a DDA within a defined boundary. There is no revenue element to ballot question 3F.
Q. How was the DDA boundary decided?
A. The DDA boundary was decided after several months of research and deliberation by a group of stakeholders with input from The City of Littleton and City consultants. Every effort was made to ensure that the DDA boundary conformed mostly to what is understood as Littleton’s Central Business District – all of downtown, including portions of Littleton Boulevard, North and South Gateway, and Riverside.
Q. I’m a tenant in the proposed DDA boundary? Will my rent and CAM charges go up?
A. While it’s up to each landlord to determine rents and common area maintenance (CAM) fees, if a DDA is approved it’s very likely that some costs – because they will be shared with the boundary – will go down. DDA funds will be used for enhanced services that improve downtown’s vitality and quality of life. Because some expenses will be pooled among all property owners, there can be some substantial savings. Examples include snow removal, private security, right-of-way landscaping and maintenance, and recycling. Marketing, special events, and other operational expenditures also can be undertaken by the DDA.
Q. How will DDA board members be selected?
A. If the DDA ballot questions pass, City Council will initiate a transparent and inclusive process for appointing DDA board members. State law requires the DDA board can be no fewer than five members and no more than eleven members. A majority of members must live or own property within the DDA boundary.
Q. Can the DDA board vote to condemn property?
A. NO --Though it’s a common refrain from DDA opposition groups that DDA’s function like urban renewal authorities and can deprived property owners of their property rights through eminent domain and other means, DDA’s are NOT the same as urban renewal authorities and DO NOT have the power of eminent domain.
Q. Shouldn’t downtown projects be paid for out of the $10 million sales tax increase for roads and sidewalks?
A. Revenue generated by last year’s voter approved increase in Littleton’s sales tax rate will be used to address Littleton’s road, sidewalk and bridge infrastructure backlog throughout the City. By passing ballot issues 3C, 3D and 3F, downtown property owners, residents and lessees will raise the priority of infrastructure, landscaping, security and other downtown-specific projects within the DDA boundary.