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The Rio Nuevo Board on Thursday approved a nearly $16 million budget for fiscal year 2018-19 and advanced the execution of leases for the 75 E. Broadway retail/office/parking project. 

Revenue in the fiscal year, which began July 1, is expected to exceed expenses by $2.9 million, which Board Chairman Fletcher McCusker said would be invested in economic development projects. 

Board Treasurer Chris Sheafe said, “We’ve got a long way to go to turn this community into the community it was meant to be.” 

Revenue includes sales tax that the state collects from businesses in the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District and returns to Rio Nuevo for investment in economic development projects in the district (an anticipated $13.2 million). It also includes rent from the Tucson Convention Center ($1.28 million) and Greyhound ($76,000). 

Expenses include principal and interest payments on bonds issued by Rio Nuevo for its projects as well as those issued by the City of Tucson-run Rio Nuevo board before 2010. Expenses also include $1.29 million in rebates of Rio Nuevo’s share of sales tax from the businesses at 5 North Fifth, the TCC and Mercado Annex to the owners or developers of those projects. 

Expenses include salaries for Rio Nuevo’s Chief Financial Officer and Administrative Director along with payments for legal services and other operating expenses.