Denver and RTD refinance Union Station loans

The city and RTD will save a total of $16 million over the life of the loans.

A flag flies at half staff in memoriam for RTD security guard Scott Von Lanken in front of Union Station, Feb. 1, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)union station; scott von lankin; memorial; denverite; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty;
A flag flies at half staff in memoriam for RTD security guard Scott Von Lanken in front of Union Station, Feb. 1, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) union station; scott von lankin; memorial; denverite; denver; colorado; kevinjbeaty;
A flag flies at half staff in memoriam for RTD security guard Scott Von Lanken in front of Union Station, Feb. 1, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

All the construction downtown around Union Station has allowed the city of Denver and the Regional Transportation District to refinance federal loans worth $300 million and save a total of $16 million over the life of the loans.

This also means that other entities that benefit from property taxes — like the city’s general fund and Denver Public Schools — will start collecting on the full value of those property taxes sooner.

The refinancing is possible because rising property values in the area around the station and all the new development sparked by the station re-opening mean the city is collecting a lot more money than originally projected. This year’s tax receipts should be in line with what was anticipated in 2022.

The loans are being repaid with tax-increment financing, which means that the additional tax revenue generated by redevelopment goes back into the district around Union Station, instead of to all the entities that normally collect property tax.

The city expects to pay off this new loan in eight years, at which time an additional $31 million a year will be available to be shared among the city, the Denver Public Schools and the Denver Union Station Metro Districts.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.