A Municipal Management District (MMD) is an economic development tool that allows property owners to enhance a defined area. A MMD is created by an act of the Texas Legislature and derives its rights and powers through “enabling legislation.”
Houston Downtown Management District (“Downtown District” or “HDMD”) was created in the regular session of the Texas Legislature in the spring of 1995 under Chapter 375 of the Local Government Code, and currently is codified as Chapter 3801 of the Texas Special Downtown Districts Code. HDMD became effective on August 2, 1995 and was organized on August 29, 1995. In 1999, the Downtown District’s boundaries were expanded by the Texas Legislature to include all of the 1,178 acres that lie primarily within the freeway ring around the City of Houston’s city center. The Downtown District’s purpose is the continued pursuit of a plan for downtown’s revitalization and sustainability as a diverse, desirable, accessible and perpetually active core of the Houston region.
In addition to the rights, powers, privileges, authority, and functions of a MMD created under the aforementioned Chapter 375 of the Local Government Code, to accomplish its purposes the Downtown District may employ the rights granted to political subdivisions under Article 16, Section 59, of the Texas Constitution, including those conferred by Chapter 54 of the Texas Water Code, and the powers under Article 3, Section 52, of the Texas Constitution and Chapter 365 and Chapter 441, Texas Transportation Code. The Downtown District does not have power of eminent domain and cannot finance by assessment services or improvements unless a petition has been filed with the board signed by a requisite number of landowners.
The Downtown District may levy assessments, ad valorem taxes, and/or impact fees. The Downtown District may incur liabilities, borrow, issue bonds, or other obligations, acquire and dispose of property, construct, develop, encourage, and maintain employment, commerce, transportation, housing, tourism, recreation, arts, entertainment, economic development, safety, and the public welfare.