GUEST OPINION: Common sense says 'no' on bonds - The Explorer: Editorials

GUEST OPINION: Common sense says 'no' on bonds

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Posted: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 11:00 pm | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Vote no against the bonds (Question 400) on the Nov. 4 ballot that requires a secondary property tax for 25 years to fund general obligation bonds to build the town of Oro Valley Naranja Town Site Park.

Starting in the year of 1996, the TOV purchased land for parks for $7.65 million using municipal bonds. At this time, there remains payments for these bonds of  $380,380 that will be paid out by the year of 2012.

Originally, the TOV wanted to spend up to $150 million for general obligation bonds to build the entire proposed master plan for NTS.

Under Arizona law, municipalities may issue general obligation bonds (subject to voter approval) for specific purposes up to an amount not exceeding 20 percent of the secondary assessed value. The TOV could only bond for an amount of $92.64 million based upon the most recent secondary assessed value of $463.21 million. Additionally, if the full master plan had been constructed, the town would have needed to request a primary property tax for operating and maintenance costs.

TOV then decided on a phased bond issue for $48.6 million.

Tax dollars already spent by TOV for NTS before any vote by taxpayers on the new bond issue:

May 2001 – Paid Stantec Consulting $120,000 for NTS Master Plan.

December 2003 – Paid Webb Management $18,000 for needs assessment and market analysis for a performing arts center.

June 2006 – Paid Burns,Wald-Hopkins $291,070 for programming and concept design.

July 2006 – Paid travel expenses $2,799 for TOV council members / staff to go to Denver to observe similar park structure/

September 2006 – Paid Burns, Wald-Hopkins $6,000 for scale model.

November 2006 – Paid Stantec Consulting $15,000 for engineering survey.

December 2006 – Paid Ballard $17,400 for facility cost and fee structure.

December 2006 – Paid DMA Engineering $12,320 for traffic study.

March 2008 – Paid Gordley Design Group, advertising firm, $50,000 for public education program.

2008 – Paid lawyers $70,000 for ballot preparation work on NTS bond question 400.

It must be reviewed that this new secondary tax will be for 25 years and is based on the bonds being bought at 5 percent that will end up with a total cost of $85.87 million. In these economic times, the 5 percent is not a good figure and it could go legally to a figure of 12 percent.

The administrative cost of issuing the bonds is estimated be $125,000. Add on the unknown maintenance costs of $1.2 million and higher in the long range (25 years) that could eventually cause a need for a primary property tax for the operation and maintenance.

Common sense calls for your “no” vote against the bonds on Question 400.

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