Hillsborough mobility to nowhere
To paraphrase a line from Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky, “…shun the frumious Bonder-snatch!”
How is it that “bonding” is so often proposed as a municipal funding source that supposedly does not raise taxes?
Selling bonds to pay for road construction is like charging home remolding to your credit card.
You get what you want now without waiting and you pay it back with future earnings; but the interest payments reduce your spendable income.
As we’ve seen with reduced county income from property and sales taxes, painful budget cuts have to come from somewhere else.
Hillsborough County is already nearly a BILLION dollars in debt in bond obligations, with crippling interest payments.
Apart from the get-it-now-pay-for-it-later fantasy world we get to live in, who benefits from municipal bonding?
There are the attorneys who actually create the tax-free bonds that are sold by brokers to investors who re-sell them to someone looking for somewhere better than a bank to park their excess money.
Everyone along the line makes a profit, with the end bondholder receiving taxpayer money with no obligation to pay any income taxes.
Perhaps instead of borrowing money to pay for new roads out to the hinterlands, we should give incentives to employers who build businesses near where people live, and incentives for home builders who build near employment centers?
That way, as we learn to pay as we go, we could also pay off the County debt and use the saved interest payments for something useful, like more buses that run on solar and clean natural gas.
<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen