With City's First Municipal Management District Official, Let the Self-Taxing Begin!

The Cypress Waters Municipal Management District officially became the city's first such district -- that is, one with the power to levy taxes and issue bonds -- this afternoon at the management offices of the Billingsley Company as its board appointed officers for the MMD and instructed the city and developer to continue negotiating terms on just exactly how a tax rate will be determined and bonds will be sold.

Located at the northwest corner of LBJ Freeway and Belt Line Road and surrounded by North Lake, the district is one of three MMD's briefed to the city council's Economic Development Committee in January, approved by the council in February (with only former member Mitchell Rasansky voting no on all three) and subsequently OK'ed by the Legislature.

Bill Calderón of Houston-based Hawes Hill Calderón LLP is consulting on all three projects and says his firm has successfully assisted in creating 25 other MMDs, which he refers to as political subdivisions of the state. The other two in Dallas -- Trinity River West and North Oak Cliff -- aren't as far along because state Senator Royce West and Representatives Rafael Anchía and Roberto Alonzo insisted on creating non-traditional boards that needed to be disassembled, according to Calderón.

Calderón says the Cypress Waters MMD aims to use a potential bond issuance to facilitate approximately $25 million in utility extensions necessary to compliment Billingsley's multi-family development planned in the district.

Lucilo Peña, president of development for Billingsley Company, will serve as the board's chair, while Lucy Billingsley, daughter of the late Trammell Crow, will serve as vice-chair. Karl Zavitkovsky, director of the city's Office of Economic Development, and assistant city manager A.C. Gonzalez were named as assistant secretaries. Dave Cook, the city's chief financial officer, was the only board member absent. Calderón says he was told Cook had a schedule conflict, but "he may have just elected to blow it off since he's retiring."