Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Final Look At Nearly $80.5 Million In Municipal Bonds For Anchorage 2013 Municipal Election

Update April 3rd: Municipal election results discussed in this post; all revenue bonds passed.

Originally published on January 27th, 2013, this post has been re-titled and republished because the official Municipality of Anchorage 2013 Notice of Election is now available, and the bonds and ballot propositions have been formally enumerated and finalized. There are four revenue bonds, three ballot propositions applicable to most voters in the Anchorage Bowl, and four additional ballot propositions applicable only to voters living in various LRSAs. Analyses of the assembly and school board races are provided in separate posts.

The four revenue bonds tally $80,470,000, adding anywhere from $12.19 to $20.09 per 100,000 assessed value to the tax bill of the Anchorage property taxpayer, depending upon availability of state debt reimbursement for the school bond. This amount could be offset by retirement of existing bonds. The remaining ballot propositions cost the taxpayers nothing. On March 28th, the Anchorage Daily News published a story about the bonds.

Additional Election References:

-- Municipality of Anchorage Voter Information Page
-- Municipality of Anchorage Candidate Page
-- APOC Municipal Candidate Page (lists campaign contributions)

(1). PROPOSITION NO. 1 - EDUCATIONAL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS, PLANNING AND DESIGN PROJECTS AND DISTRICTWIDE BUILDING LIFE EXTENSION PROJECT BONDS. AO 2012-98: Approved back in November 2012 as a single school bond worth $54,825,000. The bond qualifies for 70 percent state debt reimbursement granted by the state legislature on $10,650,000 of the issuance and 60 percent state debt reimbursement on the remaining $44,175,000. While debt reimbursement cannot be guaranteed in advance, it usually turns out to be a mere formality. According to AO 2012-98, the cost to property taxpayers if this bond is approved:

-- With debt reimbursement, will add $4.85 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed real and personal property value.
-- Without debt reimbursement, will add $12.75 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed real and personal property value.

(1a). The bond calls for five proposed projects:

-- Girdwood K-8 School Construction: $23,000,000
-- Aurora Elementary School Gym Addition: $5,750,000
-- Bartlett High School Cafeteria/Kitchen Renovation: $4,700,000
-- Capital Renewal Planning & Design Projects: $10,725,000
-- Districtwide Building Life Extension Projects: $10,650,000

AM 553-2012 contains a more detailed explanation and breakout of the five projects. The Girdwood school construction is considered to be very critical. Also see the Anchorage School District Bond Page.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BONDS. This combined AO 2013-3 and AO 2013-20 into a single proposition. $2,620,000 in General Obligation Bonds providing emergency medical service and public safety upgrades, replacing ambulances, upgrading and renewing the E911 System, making school zone safety improvements, and assessing and rehabilitating bridges and dams in the Municipality, providing public transportation upgrades, replacing support vehicles, making bus stop improvements, transit facilities improvements, transit fleet expansions and improvements, technology upgrades, and related capital improvements. AM 18-2013 contains a list of transportation projects and AM 44-2013 contains a list of public safety projects. If approved, will add $0.61 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed real and personal property value.

(3). PROPOSITION NO. 3 - ANCHORAGE ROADS AND DRAINAGE SERVICE AREA ROAD AND STORM DRAINAGE BONDS. AO 2013-19. $20,525,000 of General Obligation Bonds for road, storm drainage and related capital improvements. Applicable only to those living within the Anchorage Road & Drainage Service Area (ARDSA). AM 43-2013 contains a list of the projects. If approved, will add $6.06 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed real and personal property value.

(4). PROPOSITION NO. 4 - ANCHORAGE BOWL PARKS AND RECREATION SERVICE AREA CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BONDS.AO 2013-2. $2,500,000 of General Obligation Bonds to pay the costs of constructing, renovating and equipping park and trail improvements and recreational facilities within the Anchorage Bowl Parks and Recreation Service Area. No additional tax costs to those living outside the service area. AM 17-2013 contains project details. If approved, will add $0.67 in taxes per $100,000 of assessed real and personal property value.

(5). PROPOSITION NO. 5 - CAMPBELL CREEK LAND EXCHANGE. AO 2013-16. Convey 0.465 acres of municipal land to the State of Alaska for right-of-way for West Dowling Road upgrades in exchange for 0.446 acres of state land for park and roadway purposes and 0.781 acres of public access and
maintenance easement for Campbell Creek Greenbelt and related improvements. No additional cost to property taxpayers.

(6). PROPOSITION NO. 6 - CHARTER AMENDMENT – ASSEMBLY TERMS OF THREE YEARS. (AO 2012-19(S)). Make two changes to the Anchorage Municipal Charter Article IV, The Assembly, section 4.02: First, delete the phrase "IF ALL ASSEMBLYMEN ARE ELECTED FROM SINGLE MEMBER DISTRICTS, THE TERM OF AN ASSEMBLYMAN IS TWO YEARS. IF SOME OR ALL ASSEMBLYMEN ARE ELECTED FROM MULTI-MEMBER DISTRICTS, THE...ASSEMBLYMAN" and second, substitute the phrase "The term of an assembly member is three years".

(7). PROPOSITION NO. 7 – CHARTER AMENDMENT – SERVICE AREAS & ASSESSMENTS.AO 2013-15. A Charter amendment authorizing boundary changes to service areas without a majority vote of the affected service area voters. The cited justification is that allowing changes to service areas in certain narrow circumstances can be more efficient than placing these issues on the ballot. To become effective, the proposition must pass AND then be approved by two-thirds of the Assembly.

Propositions 8 through 11 involve the various Local Road Service Areas (LRSA) and are not applicable to voters in the Anchorage Road & Drainage Service Area (ARDSA). They can be viewed HERE.

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