Edina’s debt per capita is 2x more than Bloomington’s, almost 3x more than Eden Prairie’s and over 14x more than Minnetonka’s.
August 20, 2019 City Council Work Session (Shortcut: Slide 11) LINK
At the August 20, 2019 City Council work session, the City’s Finance Director called the city's $112M debt in 2019 "fairly significant." He said that if Moody's were rating the city on its levy debt alone (and not other factors), Edina would have an A rather than Aaa rating.
The Finance Director also noted that the city has a significant amount of deferred maintenance and unfunded projects and so a need to increase Capital Improvement Plan funding.
Looking at the charts you’ll see that our debt is being paid off, and may have been refinanced to reduce payments, but new debt will replace it - even with strategies to increase other revenue. Expenses such as new fire stations, implementing the Fred Richards master plan and discussed new arts/senior center would require additional debt.
The debt is divided into two categories: levy debt, which is paid back with property taxes, and “other funding debt,” which is paid back with special assessments, utilities fees, and other sources of revenue.
In addition to debt, the City has over $51M in unfunded projects listed in the Capital Improvement Plan (p. 184), $54M in deferred maintenance on city facilities (there may be some overlap with projects in the CIP), and a need for two fire stations ($20M consultant estimate).
The city is looking at ways to increase revenues so that more can be done on a cash basis rather than with debt. Ideas include increasing utility fees, continuing to levy for the same (or more) amount of revenue after City Hall and Weber Woods debt retires and directing that revenue to the CIP, capturing “the Southdale TIF tax capacity for 2022 CIP,” and seeking legislative and voter approval to collect a half percent sales tax.
Debt not considered in the above includes Tax Increment Financing notes. This is money that the City, by agreement, owes to developers (plus interest), that is paid by tax revenue on the increased values of properties within a TIF district.
Columns left to right: 2017, 2018 and 2019, and budgeted 2020 and 2021. This represents levy debt only (debt repaid with property taxes).