Read the original: The Marietta Daily Journal - Fulfill the obligation to voters by fully funding
Fulfill the obligation to voters by fully funding $40M parks bonds
March 09, 2016
Fully funding the 2008 park bond does not require a tax increase; the $40 million is available in the Debt Service Fund.
Recently, the Board of Commissioners said $19 to $29 million would be available to purchase park land because the timeline for park bond repayment expires in 2023. Even though the Board delayed issuing Park Bond 2008 funds. Even though the Board partially funded the Braves stadium (SunTrust Park) with money the voters approved for Park Bond 2008.
The Board has authority to fund the full $40 million 2008 park bond with new terms and conditions, according to the legal specifics of Park Bond funding. The 2008 park bond Referendum’s terms and conditions were changed when the commissioners neglected to issue the bonds on the stated start date in 2008.
The Board of Commissioners can modify the terms and conditions going forward, including a new repayment schedule.
1. The simplest solution is to extend the 2008 park bond funding by seven years, since it was delayed seven years. If the full Debt Service Fund property taxes were applied, the $40 million Park Bond would be paid off in less than five years, well before the original repayment deadline.
2. Another option is to refinance the Park Bond for the full $40 million after issuing it, which is also allowable under the law.
Referendums are binding and are mandated by law. Voters approved 2008 park bond by 67 percent.
The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a Board of Commissioners is 100 percent obligated to fully fund voter-approved referendums as the voters intended.
Fully fund the 2008 park bond referendum now. $40 million buys priceless legacies for all citizens: places to enjoy nature with friends and family, a healthier environment, and a better community to live and thrive in.
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Fulfill the obligation to voters by fully funding