Monday, August 11, 2014

The best explanation of the bond vote on August 26, less than a 2 minute read...

On August 26, 2014 Lake Worth Voters will go to the polls and decide whether or not the city should borrow funding for the 2020 plan. The borrow will be in the form of a General Obligation Bond (GOB). GOBs are the most common method used by municipalities to borrow money for improvements such as roadways, sidewalks and other infrastructure. The bond may be repaid by a number of methods, most commonly through property taxes.

In Lake Worth's case, the 2020 plan is a five year plan to improve infrastructure that has been neglected through the years. There is not enough money in the general fund to pay for these repairs and it will require a GOB to fund the plan.

The cost to implement the plan as it is drawn is over 80 million dollars. Some of the plan is for water and sewer utilities, for which there is about 20 million dollars in the Utility fund. The balance of the 80 million dollars, 63.5 million will have to be issued by a GOB.

Lake Worth's plan is to borrow the money in three "trunches", or withdrawals, saving interest on the money until it is withdrawn. The city is exploring grants available and any money obtained by grant will reduce the amount of money needed on the GOB.

If the bond issue passes and the full amount of the bond is borrowed, property owners would see a 3.1 mil increase on their tax bill. Any homesteaded properties that are below the taxable threshold in assessed value will not be taxed. Properties with values over the threshold will see the assessment on the tax bill.

If the bond issue is turned down by voters, the city will continue to maintain roadways as they have, some areas will remain without adequate fire protection, and sidewalks will remain in a state of disrepair or non-existence. The city does not have the money to keep up with maintenance or worn out infrastructure.

[Used with Permission of the Lake Worth Herald dated July 31, 2014.]