Interested in learning more about the city bond issues that will be on the ballot?
In August, the Asheville City Council approved a general obligation bond referendum that would generate $74 million for public improvements financed by the bonds. The public improvements are divided into three categories, Housing Affordability, Parks & Recreation, and Streets, Sidewalks & Bike Lanes. Voters will vote separately on each category.
The list of projects includes only capital projects that are the direct responsibility of city government. They do not include schools, libraries, or other projects that are the direct responsibility of county and state government.
The proposed projects align with the strategic focus areas adopted by City Council. The Parks and Recreation Bonds would address the strategic focus of promoting a healthy environment and the Housing Affordability bonds would address the strategic focus on creating livable neighborhoods. The bonds for Streets, Sidewalks and Bike Lanes would address the strategic focus on providing quality transportation.
WHY ISSUE BONDS?
A capital project is generally defined as a project expected to have a useful life of 10 years or more. The City’s current capital improvement program (CIP) is at capacity; no additional projects can be added under the current model until 2023 or later. The additional revenue that could be realized from a bond referendum would allow Council to prioritize projects that are planned for 10 or more years into the future and address current and long term community needs.
The City’s current per capita debt is lower than the state average, which indicates it’s capacity to responsibly assume additional debt. General obligation bonds are a common way for cities to invest in community infrastructure.
WHAT WOULD THE IMPACT BE ON TAXES?
If the bonds are approved, the City will have seven years to issue the bonds and approximately 20 years to pay off the bonds after the funds are received. Based on the City’s projected debt capacity, issuing $74 million in general obligation bonds could require a property tax increase of 4.15 ¢ to retire the debt.
The upcoming revaluation could affect these estimates slightly but based on current rates, if approved, the bonds could increase property taxes in the city by about $110 a year, or a little more than $9 per month for a home valued at $275,000.
You can find out more information and see the full post on the City’s website.