Healthy Shreveport: Mayor Cedric Glover advocates bicycle riding , a photo by trudeau on Flickr.
The following is from Mayor Glover and was forwarded by Monty Walford, who noted the recent circulation of misinformation:
"Regarding the upcoming city bond proposal and tax implications: The three propositions will require some 14 mills to leverage against the support of the $175 million bond. No millage (tax) increase is called for since the current city general obligation bond debt of $143 million is the lowest since 1992. The city's bond debt has provided the ability to add the current $175 million package without an increase. How?
- The current millage rate for bonds (debt services) is 26.56 (lowest since 1990), which is part of the overall city 44.54 ad valorem millage (lowest since 1989) and is projected to generate $37 million from current property tax payments in 2011.
- Of that $37 million, the city will only require $22 million of that amount to pay on the existing $143 million bond debt note. That is a use of only about 14 of the current 26.56 mills. Leaving some 12 mills to for new bonds. That combined with a fund balance at the end of 2010 in debt services of $50 million will cover the 14 mills as stated in the Council resolutions - without causing an increase.
The language in the resolution is a statutory requirement that mandates a listing of how many mills it will take to cover the issuance of the bond. In this case it's 14 and those 14 are already available within the existing 26.56 mills property owners are already paying, through their ad valorem tax, into debt services for bond payments. Thus, no increase. In fact, according to Finance, the city could issue up to $288 million in new bonds without an increase, but wanted to leave a residual as an emergency contingency.
These details are not political - they are what they are and however the citizens vote on April 2nd is their right. However, citizens have a right to have correct information.
All the city administration, Council, and Citizens' Bond Committee who selected the projects - made up of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike - are doing on April 2nd is asking the citizens for permission to place the current level of tax dollars they are paying toward addressing critical infrastructure needs.
Please visit www.shreveportbond2011.com for more information on this issue."
One public meeting for discussion of the bond issue remains: Wednesday, March 30, 6 pm, Riverview Hall.