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Phoenix GO Bond executive committee continues dissection of proposed municipal projects

Photo of Phoenix City Hall
A view of Phoenix City Hall, 200 W. Jefferson St. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

As Phoenix subcommittee presentations wind down executive deliberations to commence

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

For months now, the Phoenix General Obligation Bond Executive Committee has been meeting in City Council chambers dissecting — and understanding project motivations — the myriad projects proposed by municipal leaders for a pending public-funding measure destined for a local election.

Phoenix City Council appointed a citizen’s GO Bond Committee on June 1 to evaluate and prioritize proposed projects identified in the capital needs study and to hear from residents what they would like to see in the next GO Bond program.

Phoenix City Council earlier this summer approved moving forward with a general obligation bond package at $500 million, but over the last several weeks presentations have offered bond projects exceeding that economic threshold.

The executive committee, a group of community leaders charged with ultimately providing a recommendation to Phoenix City Council, held a presentation hearing Monday, Oct. 17, allowing subcommittee leaders and department chieftains the opportunity to give insights to project recommendations.

The Eight Phoenix GO Bond Subcommittees

  • Arts & Culture;
  • Economic Development and Education;
  • Environment & Sustainability;
  • Housing;
  • Human Services & Homelessness;
  • Neighborhoods & City Services;
  • Parks & Recreation;
  • Public Safety; and
  • Streets & Storm Drainage.

Executive Committee Chair Sharon Harper presides over the morning presentations and pointed out this past Monday formal deliberations have not begun yet at the committee level.

“Our task is to evaluate proposed projects representing the city’s highest needs totaling $500 million for City Council recommendations,” she said at the close of the Oct. 17 subcommittee presentations. “The reports provided today and next meeting will be our starting point to provide recommendations to City Council. We will hold off on deliberations until we hear from all of the subcommittees.”

The final installment of GO bond project presentations is 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 24, at Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St., which will be followed by an executive committee hearing — Monday, Oct. 31 — on formal deliberations of a plethora of projects presented over the past several weeks.

The executive committee is anticipated to provide its formal recommendation for projects to be included in the pending bond program over the next month, city officials say.

A view of the administrative buildings at Phoenix City Hall in downtown Phoenix found along Jefferson Street. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

What are Phoenix general obligation bonds?

City officials say general obligation bonds pay for major capital improvements that serve a public purpose, such as renovating and building new parks and libraries, investing in the Phoenix Housing Plan, the Climate Action Plan, street and storm drainage projects and even public safety infrastructure like a new fire station or police precinct.

Money from GO Bonds cannot be used for ongoing operating costs such as administrative expenses and employee salaries.

Does the proposed 2023 GO Bond Program anticipate an increase in secondary property tax rates? No, city officials report.

The GO Bond Program does not include a planned increase in the municipal secondary property tax rate, which is used to calculate secondary property tax revenues dedicated to paying the debt service on GO Bonds.

This means that future property tax revenues at the existing secondary property tax rate are projected to be sufficient to repay the bonds, absent unanticipated legislative and/or economic changes, city official report.

Make your voice heard at Phoenix City Hall

Officials at city encourage residents to engage with municipal leaders through social media by using the #GOPHX2023 or by using the interactive GOPHXTOOL, an online tool that allows residents to tell the GO Bond Committee which projects they would like to see recommended to City Council.

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