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Spin Control

Posts tagged: bonds

City of Spokane plans park/streets meetings

Spokane city officials will hold six public meetings this month on their plan to refinance bonds to raise money for street maintenance and the proposed Riverfront Park Master Plan.

The proposal involves refinancing three older bond issues, paying them off and raising an extra $25 million for streets and $60 million for the Riverfront Park plan. It would pay off the 1999 park bonds, the 2004 street bonds and the 2007 pool bonds, leaving the 91 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation in place, but extending it for 20 years. The two older bonds are due to expire this year, although the 2007 pool bonds have another 16 years.

City officials liken the plan to a homeowner refinancing to take advantage of lower interest rates.

For a look at the meeting schedule, click here to go inside the blog.

  

Spokane will use bond money to beautify Division Street ‘gateway’

Spokane will borrow about $4 million from itself to pay for improvements near the University District along Division Street.

The money will be repaid in payments of $250,000 a year over 25 years with sales tax money collected in Spokane that otherwise would have been earmarked for the state.

The Spokane City Council voted 7-0 on Monday to issue the bond and to allow them to be purchased by the city’s investment fund, which is made up mostly of money held in reserve for future sewer, water and trash system upgrades.

AWB challenges ballot title of Energy Rehab bonds

OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business says it will challenge the proposed ballot title for Referendum 52, the measure that asks voters to approve bonds for a half billion worth of energy retrofits at public schools and colleges.

Dubbed “Hans Bonds” during the late legislative session because they were the brainchild of Rep. Hans Dunshee, the bonds would be sold to pay for energy savings rehabilitation that would save the schools money and create jobs in the lagging construction sector of the economy. Or at least that was the pitch from Dunshee and House Democrats, who finally got the bonds past the Senate late in the special session.

But not until the legislation added a refendum clause, allowing voters to decide whether they want to pay for the bonds by making the now-temporary tax on bottled water permanent, and the source for paying off the bonds.

AWB says the ballot title language should state that very fact, and wants to add “and make the sales tax on bottled water permanent” to the end of the title. The challenge will get a Superior Court hearing laster this month.

UPDATE: Jason Mercier of the Washington Policy Center notes this afternoon that legislative Democrats can’t say they weren’t warned that the language would prompt a legal challenge. During debate on the bill, Sen.Linda Parlette, R-Wenatchee, sponsored an amendment to add the language about a permanent water tax to the required ballot title. Democratic Sens. Karen Fraser of Olympia and Lisa Brown of Spokane argued that the tax isn’t really permanent because it could be removed at the Legislature at any time.

The amendment failed 16-30. Mercier has posted a clip of the debate on his blog.

WA Lege Spec Sess: Say what?

OLYMPIA — Debate sometimes gets so heated in the Legislature that the honorables mix their metaphors or jumble their allusions.

Today’s House debate on the Democrats’ “Jobs” bill, which asks for $861 million in bonds to do energy refits in schools around the state, was one of those times.

Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, warned about the mounting debt, and taking on even more, particulary when the state faces growing health care and pension costs. “Mr. Speaker, the cash register is ticking.”

Clocks tick. Bombs tick. But seems like even in the days of manually cranked cash registers, they didn’t tick, although they sometimes when ka-chunk, and sometimes went ka-ching.

Rep. David Taylor, R-Oak Harbor, tried a topical literary and cinematic allusion, although he prefaced it by saying he didn’t get around to seeing “Alice In Wonderland” on his weekend away from the Legislature. The bond bill was putting money, Wonderland-like, down a bunny  hole, he said.

“This may be the bunny hole of doom,” he warned.

Bunny hole of doom? Go ask Alice. Don’t eat the pills, stay away from the Mad Hatter but remember what the doormouse said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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