Sunday, May 21, 2017

$10-15 million in GO bonds under discussion by Davidson Board

 Saturday morning's post told you how Davidson's Board doesn't plan to allow voters to vote on a new Town Hall - the largest single expenditure since Mi-Connection.  However, the Board does appear ready to proceed on a bond package to handle a whole slew of other items.

As far as aShortChronicle can tell, the first time this bond package was discussed in any detail at a televised Board Meeting, was just last week on May 9th.  It will also be discussed at their upcoming May 23rd meeting.  If the Board moves forward with it Commissioners will have to vote to start the process at their June 13th meeting by passing multiple resolutions needed to get it on the November ballot.

That would seem to be lightening fast movement for something like this.

The bond presentation included in the Tuesday agenda shows 2 options

The presentation also includes a list of possible projects for the money - emphasis on the word possible.  The reason that's the case is if passed the Town wouldn't have to strictly abide by the list.  As long as a project fits into one of the broad categories it could be completed.  Also notice, on the below list there are more total projects on the list than bonds in either of the above bond offerings.  That means even if passed there would not be enough bond money to do all of the possible projects.

However, you can be sure as the Town starts selling this package they will be pushing it as if all of them certainly will be completed.  That's how bond packages get passed - include something for everyone in a list so voters support the bonds then once the bonds are passed only do what the governing body really wants to do.

Effectively, this list really just says "trust us".

People often forget that bond money is not free money.  It does have to be paid back.  So, what will this do to the tax rate?  That's a question the Town is legally obligated to answer when making a bond proposal.

The numbers presented above would have Davidson's taxes potentially going up anywhere from 2.18 - 3.62 cents per $100 of assessed value.  According to the median home value for Davidson is $325,000, so that translates to a potential tax increase of $70.85 to $117.65 per year for the median home.

Boiled down, this proposal combined with Commissioners not letting voters vote on the new Town Hall says this to the public.

"Here is a list of high dollar items we want your permission to build, but you'll just have to "trust us" on what will actually get built.  Also, we need to raise taxes 6-11% to do it.  However, at the same time we don't trust you enough to support a new Town Hall, so we aren't going to let you vote on that."

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