The city of Roswell’s proposed $24 million bond referendum that will be on the ballot in November is unnecessary because the city will announce a property tax increase regardless of the outcome of this referendum and they have refused to publically admit that reality when confronted.
(Editor's Note: The city council still has to vote on whether to place the referedum on the November ballot during their Aug. 13 meeting.)
Roswell’s current debt service millage rate generates $6.3 million annually and Mayor Wood and City Council plan to roll over this tax revenue into the day to day operations instead of retiring it once the bonds are paid off. This has been the Mayor & Council’s agenda since June of 2008.
Now during the recently concluded fiscal year budget hearings this past June, City Administrator Kay Love announced, out of the blue, that there was an excess in debt payment revenues in the amount of $6.7 million currently in an escrow account available to cover the entire debt payment due next year. This is not simply a lack of transparence, but outright deception utilizing half truths.
Citizens, it is inconceivable that this amount of previously unreported money materializes out of thin air. And I for one find it hard to believe that Mayor Wood and this City Council were ignorant of the fact that the city was squealing away millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money in an escrow account. Budget Director, Keith Lee, confirmed at the July 30th “Open Mic” Council meeting that these excess monies were, for all practical purposes, the result of over taxation.
Additionally, Mrs. Love noted that as of the end of next year, the city will only need an additional $4 million to pay off all of its outstanding debt, with that small amount not due until FY2015.
When the city begins to roll over the debt service next fiscal year, it will generate an additional $26 million in revenues over the next five fiscal years making the bond referendum unnecessary because sufficient funds will be available for all the projects earmarked on the proposed bond referendum.
So the logical question is why would the Mayor & City Council propose a bond referendum in the first place?
It’s all about the money!
The current debt service income is $6.3 million annually, while the payment on a $24 million bond will only be $2.4 million annually. This proposed bond will allow the city to capture the additional $4 million each year to expand their bloated budget while deceiving citizens with the perception that all the monies are needed for the projects on the list proposed for the bond.
Meanwhile Mayor Wood says “people need to trust their government.”
Property owners, it’s a con job and I encourage you to “BOOT THE BOND.”