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Bond Programs FAQ


  • What is a bond program?

    A bond is a form of a public security. When issued, bonds provide local governments with funds to finance large capital improvements. A bond program includes both the authority to issue bonds and a listing of the purposes for which the funds may be used. General  (GO) bond programs require voter approval. 

  • What is a capital improvement project?

    A capital improvement project is any major improvement to City facilities and/or infrastructure. Capital improvement projects typically include projects such as street construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation; the construction or renovation of City facilities, such as fire stations and libraries; and park improvements. All of the proposed projects are referred to collectively as a Capital Improvement Program. Although capital improvement projects can be very different, most require multiple years to complete, are financed over a long period of time, and require a series of work phases to complete, such as planning, design, and construction.

  • What is a proposition, and how does it relate to the bond program?

    Under state law, the City is required to divide the bond program projects so that voters can consider one type of purpose or project at the time of casting their votes. The propositions are what appear on the voters’ ballots, and each proposition involves all the projects that serve the same common, overarching single purpose such as fire safety or streets and transportation. If a proposition passes, the City must use the proceeds from the sale of the bonds for the purposes stated in that approved proposition.

  • Can funds approved in one proposition be used to fund projects in another proposition?
    Amounts approved for one proposition cannot be assigned to another proposition, even if there are excess funds available. Expenditures must strictly conform to what was approved by voters in the election. If voters approve a bond proposition on an election ballot, the City is authorized to sell bonds up to the amount indicated in the proposition language to fund capital improvement projects that meet the public purpose of that bond proposition.
  • If part of the property tax that I pay goes to fund the debt on capital improvement projects, will the additional projects proposed in the 2019 Bond Program result in an increase to my property tax rate?
    There is no anticipated property tax rate increase associated with passage of the proposed 2019 Bond Program. The program has been structured in a way that takes into account current financial conditions, trends, and forecasts, and that is intended to allow the debt to be issued without requiring a tax rate increase. Because the issuance of General Obligation (GO) Bonds is subject to economic conditions at the time of issuance within the City – such as possible decreases in property values, reduction of tax rates, and other factors – no assurance can be given that the projected impact on property taxes can be achieved.