Special District Finance

Public agencies face pressures from budget constraints that threaten to stop critical projects before they start—coupled with complicated regulation and reporting requirements. Harris & Associates helps clarify funding solutions and put them within reach.


Our municipal finance professionals help you find additional funding, improve administrative efficiencies, and increase revenues to pay for future projects. By working with stakeholders and educating the public during establishment proceedings, we keep the important issues and benefits front and center. 

Add Our Expertise to Your Team

As laws continue to change, Harris helps you understand legislative challenges and opportunities, including those in Prop 218. In the absence of redevelopment agencies, we offer guidance on EIFDs, reimbursement audits, and other financial considerations. We function as an extension of your own financing team—exploring numerous alternatives and consulting on the best strategy suited for your community. 

Protecting Your Community's Future

Successful formation of many Special Districts results from a nuanced partnership between the city and the developer. We can help your city incentivize developers to build and industry to come to your community while protecting the interests of future property owners.

 

Related People

  • District Formation

    District Formation

    A recognized authority on the statutory procedures and requirements for district formation, Harris works with you to determine the most cost-effective solutions for special financing districts, whether to form, reform, or close-out. We offer expertise in the formation proceedings for special financing districts including:

    • Feasibility studies
    • GIS parcel mapping and documentation
    • Revenue requirements analysis (identify what, how much, and methodology best suited)
    • Engineer's reports/special tax methodology
    • Proposition 218 compliance
    • Refundings
    • Public education outreach

  • District Administration

    District Administration

    With a tailored approach, we maximize your revenues while minimizing demands on your agency's staff. We help you understand the risks involved and walk you through changing regulations and reporting requirements. We can manage the annual administration process, which includes:

    • Annual levies
    • Arbitrage compliance
    • Annual Engineer’s Reports
    • Disclosure reporting
    • Revenue analysis
    • Delinquency management
    • Property owner inquiries

  • Acquisition Auditing

    Acquisition Auditing

    Harris has completed over $900 million in acquisition audit work, and our clients trust us to provide a transparent process that protects the agency, community, and investors. Working closely with developers and their engineers, we develop relationships that promote thorough and timely turnaround of reimbursement requests while protecting the interests of public agencies. We have developed policies and procedures for tracking and processing reimbursement requests and adhere to all guidelines and policies. This allows us to quickly process requests and provide a smooth process for the municipality. Our acquisition auditing services include:

    • Development of policies and guidelines
    • Construction reimbursement
    • Cost allocations and recovery

  • Feasibility Studies

    Feasibility Studies

    Taking a project from idea to completion is often a difficult and time-consuming process. Harris can help you evaluate the best strategy for the successful delivery of projects and serve as an independent advisor to review funding needs and the likelihood of success. Often, we have found that small changes can have a significant impact on a project’s success. This can include improving the transparency of the need for additional funding; ensuring costs are allocated equitably to different parts of the community; and that time is included to educate stakeholders. Our feasibility study services include:

    • Reviewing project plans, objectives, cost, and schedules
    • Evaluating alternative financing strategies and stakeholder support
    • Creating a road map for project delivery

  • Proposition 218 Compliance

    Proposition 218 Compliance

    Understanding the requirements of Proposition 218 is critical to the success of any financing strategy. Recent court cases have made it more important than ever to fully understand the difference between special taxes, property related fees, and assessments, and to differentiate between general and special benefit. Harris has helped agencies develop compliance strategies, bring old districts into compliance with recent court rulings, and chart a path to success in the adoption of new taxes, assessments, and property-related fees. Our staff of renowned experts are up to date on the changes that have occurred, with an eye on changes to come. Our Prop 218 services include:

    • Property owner notices and ballots
    • Ballot tabulation
    • Public outreach and education

  • Annual Engineer's Reports

    Annual Engineer's Reports

    Harris serves as the Assessment Engineer for the preparation of annual engineer’s reports for the administration of benefit assessment districts. For annual administration, we review your current district to make sure you comply with the requirements of Proposition 218 and collect the maximum revenue to which you are entitled. We can also help identify strategies for successfully increasing assessments to meet future revenue needs. Our annual engineer’s reporting services include:

    • Annual special tax and assessment levies
    • Parcel audits to maximize revenues
    • Proposition 218 compliance

  • Revenue Analysis

    Revenue Analysis

    Understanding both your short- and long-term revenue needs is critical to developing the best strategy to fund vital community projects and services. We have successfully helped agencies identify multi-year financing needs, including funding for the replacement of aging infrastructure and facilities. With this information, we can identify alternative funding strategies, recommend solutions based upon your specific requirements, and identify the path to successful implementation of the selected strategy. Our revenue analysis services include: 

    • Developing multi-year financing needs
    • Replacement reserve studies
    • Alternative funding strategies