By Solange Whitehead
Solange for Scottsdale
In November, voters will consider approving three bond questions containing 58 projects:
1. Parks, Recreation, and Senior Services
2. Community Spaces and Infrastructure
3. Public Safety and Technology
Citizen input helped finalize the list of projects and City Council unanimously voted for the bond package. More details on the projects online and in future newsletters. Some bond basics are below.
What is a GO Bond?
A Government Obligation (GO) Bond is like a home equity line of credit. It establishes a maximum loan amount that the City can borrow. The City is not required to borrow any or all of the approved money. The City can only use the funds for the voter approved projects. And while a home equity line is secured by the equity in the borrower’s home, a GO bond is secured with property tax revenue.
GO bonds require voter approval.
What is the Cost?
There is no cost to taxpayers if the bonds are passed. (Aside from the election cost which is about $2.50 per voter). Interest and fees only kick in when the City taps the approved funds to start a project. GO Bonds are preferred because this form of debt has the lowest interest rate. In today’s market, the interest would be around 4%.
How are the Bonds Paid Back?
Through secondary property taxes.
How Will My Taxes Go Down?
Property taxes are decreasing as existing bonds are paid off (blue). The $319M bond gets important projects done and should net a lower property tax.
How do Scottsdale Taxes Compare?
Scottsdale has the second lowest property taxes in the Valley.
Where Will I Vote?
All voters will receive a ballot in the mail. Whether or not the voter usually votes at the polls. Voters can mail or drop off ballots.
Is Council’s Job Done After the Bonds are Voter Approved?
NO, absolutely not. Each individual project will still be subject to Council review and approval. I will continue to work with staff to seek out alternate funds for projects and review costs so we stretch every single tax dollar spent.
Scottsdale’s sparkle and international appeal is the product of citizen-driven ideas made possible with voter approved bonds. I will enthusiastically VOTE YES on all three bond questions in Nov!