Highest Community Debt Ever Looming
November 3, 2016
I’m wondering if the city made the school district aware of the looming cost of the Clean Water Act when school board members were deciding how much bond money to ask from the community.
In discussing how much bond money, local board members failed to heed the voices of the fiscal conservatives in the community, such as myself, not to spend our community deeper in debt beyond what we could afford or was absolutely necessary. Board members decided on asking for $106M including 12 interest only payments which added $10M in interest to local taxpayer charges.
Bond Rating Change
According to Fitch and the S & P ratings criteria, in the last five years, if Measure CW passes, it will be the first step of our small community going from its historically low level of debt into a high overall debt level—to possibly owing over $600M in principle and interest. That’s not even counting the $108M of Direct and Overlapping Governmental Debt shown in the city’s Annual California Financial Report in 2015.
How Much More?
How will this new, much higher debt change our bond ratings? Will that increase in debt make our bond offerings look riskier to investors? How much more higher interest will our small community have to offer investors to get them interested in buying our bonds? How much more will local taxpayers have to dole out because of this higher debt?
Give Us Taxpayers a Break
Unlike our city, the school board is under no federal mandate to spend all of $106M the community authorized it to borrow. But, the board still could save our small community over $100M in principal and interest payments, by not issuing the last $50M of the already authorized bonds.
Don’t Leave Home Without It
In the next local election, maybe voters should ask candidates to release their own credit scores, so voters will know how they handle their own personal finances. Maybe then, we will see who will handle our debt financing better, once they get into office.
Vote NO on Measure CW