GO Bond: Capital Improvements Proposal
The City Council has passed an ordinance placing an $800 million infrastructure repair plan on the April 4 ballot, seeking resident approval for a comprehensive capital improvements program. The program would use revenue created by issuing approximately $40 million in General Obligation (GO) bonds each year for 20 years.
Residents will see three ballot questions. Each ballot question must receive a “Yes” vote of at least 57.1 percent of voters to be approved.
Question #1 calls for approving the issuance of $600 million in bonds to repair streets, bridges and sidewalks. This would include trails. The City would use $150 million of these bonds to create a new, city-funded sidewalk repair program that eliminates the homeowner assessment.
Question #2 calls for approving the issuance of $150 million in bonds to improve flood control to prevent floodwaters from backing up into homes and businesses.
Question #3 calls for approving the issuance of $50 million in bonds to repair public buildings. This would include replacing the outdated animal shelter, in partnership with private fundraising, and renovating public buildings to satisfy federal ADA requirements.
A key feature of the plan calls for a complete change in the way the City repairs sidewalks. The bonds would create revenue to allow the City to pay for residential sidewalks repairs, rather than charging homeowners. The city would create a program to systematically evaluate, repair and replace sidewalks. The goal is to make it through two citywide cycles over 20 years.
The bonds would be repaid through a property tax increase. The chart below shows four examples of average taxpayer impacts. For a household with a $140,000 home and a $15,000 car, the property tax would average an additional $8 each year, rising to an estimated $160 average additional payment in year 20, the final year of the bond program. Please keep in mind that these are averages. In the beginning years, the increase will be more, but then it levels off in the middle and final years, and in some years it declines.
A companion resolution has been approved by the City Council. It outlines specifics of the process for prioritizing projects through the existing Citywide Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan, as well as the annual reporting requirements for the program. View the list and map of possible street and bridge projects (list/big map | list/printable map) submitted with the resolution.
Projects would be prioritized based on several factors, including those that: are shovel-ready, already in the current Five-Year Capital Improvements Plan, leverage grants or private resources, promote new development, improve public safety and/or address state or federal mandates.
Read the news release.
To review the public debate on this issue, please see these presentations and meetings: