SAMPLE City Referendum with Pro and Con Argument
BALLOT LANGUAGE:Proposition A: The issuance of $22,300,000 general obligation bonds for Keller Springs Road and Airport Parkway street improvements, and the levying of a tax in payment thereof.Proposition B: The issuance of $33,602,000 general obligation bonds for Quorum Road and Montford Road street improvements, and the levying of a tax in payment thereof.Proposition C: The issuance of $6,723,000 general obligation bonds for park, open space and recreation facilities improvements and the lay of a tax in payment thereof.Proposition D: The issuance of $7,395,000 general obligation bonds for improving and equipping existing town service, public safety, conference and administrative facilities, and the levying of a tax in payment thereof.Proposition E: The issuance of $600,000 general obligation bonds for traffic control systems and facilities, and the levying of a tax in payment thereof.EXPLANATION:This election seeks authorization to issue $70,620,000 in bonds for capital projects, in five propositions, to be issued over the next 5 years. Proposition A would fund reconstruction of major east-west thoroughfares deemed in urgent need. Proposition B would fund reconstruction of major north-south thoroughfares deemed in urgent need. Proposition C would fund improvements to park, open space and recreation facilities including the Athletic Club, Les Lacs Pond, and trails.Proposition D would fund improvements to existing municipal buildings, including roof and HVAC replacements, as well as needed repairs to address ADA compliance.Proposition E would provide a city-wide traffic management system. The proposed authorization was compiled after intensive study by a citizen committee and town staff over a number of months and approved unanimously by the town council. The 2019 Addition property tax rate was $.55 cents per $100 assessed value which was lower than that of neighboring cities. The 2020 Addison tax rate is increased to $.5835. If all proposed propositions are approved by the voters, staff estimates it could add approximately $.10 cents to the tax rate. The city has a AAA bond rating, the highest awarded by rating agencies. Addison’s last bond election was in 2012 where all six propositions passed with large margins. Of that $55 million authorization, $32 million remains unissued. In the 2012 bond election, $16 million was approved for reconstruction to Midway Road. The authorization did not include utility relocations. Only $3 million has been issued to date for this project. Project cost has been re-estimated at $41 million and now includes utility relocations. The city will issue Certificates of Obligation, which do not require voter authorization, to complete the funding. To make sure cost estimates for future projects are accurate and complete, the city hired a professional engineering firm to develop the cost estimates for the street projects proposed in the 2019 election. More information on the projects to be funded with this authorization can be found at www.AddisonBond2019.com.
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Yes - For the Measure
No - Against the Measure
Arguments for and against the proposition:
1. The projects were deemed essential after an intensive study by a citizens committee and staff. They were approved unanimously by the town council.
2. Addison is fiscally strong and manages finances well, as indicated by its very high bond rating. It is able to absorb the cost and possible property tax rate increase without stress.
3. Addison learned from past experience and sought a higher level of expertise in compiling cost estimates for the projects.
4. Since costs are being financed with debt which will be repaid over time in the future, the burden will borne by the users of the future who are benefiting from the improvements.
1. Property taxes are already too high. The town should either find ways to accomplish these improvements within the existing tax rate or defer them.
2. The potential tax rate increase of $.09 to $.10 would make Addison’s one of the highest in the area if other cities remain the same. This could negatively impact economic development.
3. The large street reconstruction projects will disrupt businesses in the area. These projects would follow close behind additional projects from the 2012 authorization which will also be disruptive.
4. If we experience a severe recession in the future, the additional debt from this authorization could stress the city financially.
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