GMA has two financing programs available to its members, the Direct Lease Program and the Bricks & Mortar Program.
GMA's Direct Lease program provides local governments with low-interest installment leases for the acquisition of essential government equipment such as computer systems, E-911 systems, sewer jet cleaners, police cars and fire trucks. Municipalities take advantage of flexible payment terms and own the equipment at the end of the term.
Interest rates are based upon term, ranging from two to ten years, with quotes remaining valid up to 30 days prior to the origination of the loan. The program offers standardized legal documents and GMA staff assists in the administration of the lease throughout its term.
Examples of the flexible payment terms are: no up-front fees, no required down payments, no prepayment penalties, and no final 'balloon' payments. GMA's leasing programs are compliant with state leasing statutes.
Participation in the Direct Lease program requires a one-time adoption of a Master Lease and submission of two most recent financial audits or CAFR's for credit review. Leases are considered on a case-by-case basis. Adoption of the Master Lease authorizes certain City officers to execute supplemental leases for essential equipment.
Long-term financing of essential government real estate projects is provided through GMA's Bricks & Mortar program. Since 1990, 45 cities have taken advantage of this program's standard documentation that complies with Section 36-60-13 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, as amended. In addition to the standard documentation, GMA utilizes the economies of scale approach to keep the costs associated with the financing to a minimum for its membership.
Financing terms are flexible, ranging from five to thirty years. Applicable projects must be essential to the operation of the government. Due to special requirements in the law, we recommend cities contact GMA early in the process to obtain a full understanding of the legal and financial requirements of the program. Cities may consider the Bricks and Mortar financing option as a way to fund projects approved through SPLOST.