April 2, 2021

Independence Election April 6: On the Ballot

OPINION: ON THE BALLOT: No tax increase bond?? 
By Giovanni Antonio

   If it sounds too good to be true... it probably is right? 

  Let's take a closer look.  On the ballot for Independence residents on April 6th is what ISD is touting as a 43 million dollar NO tax increase bond.  

   The specific ballot language says, "Approval of this question is expected to result in zero increase of the District’s debt service tax levy of $1.2145 per $100 of assessed valuation."

   On face value one might instantly notice "expected" isn't a guarantee.  However I believe that language is for the most part straightforward.   According to a spokesperson from ISD.  "If a circumstance occurred in which assessed valuation dropped dramatically within the boundaries of the ISD, this would necessitate an increase in the levy. We do not anticipate nor have we ever experienced a situation in which this has occurred."  

  So it indeed seems unlikely this would lead to a tax increase,  maybe not impossible, but unlikely. 

  What I think is more questionable is what's not on the actual ballot language, but rather in the FAQ on the ISD website regarding the matter. 

   It clearly states....

   Q: What will happen if voters do not approve the no tax increase bond issue?

   If the no tax increase bond issue is not approved, the outlined projects will not be completed and taxes will not decrease.

   This is where I have serious doubts.  And received what I think is conflicting information from an ISD spokesperson.   It seems what the ballot language, the FAQ and ISD isn't saying is.... If we do not approve this bond *and pay off the current debts*... our taxes will decrease. 

   According to the ISD spokesperson, "...we anticipate the levy will decrease as the existing debts are paid off."

 I don't think we can't get 43 million dollars for free,  or without interest for that matter.   These projects will cost money, someone has to pay for them. 

   If you're in favor of voting for the bond, by all means please do so.  If you think it's a sound investment, vote for it.  If you're considering voting yes because you think it won't cost taxes, that may not be true, and you deserve an honest explanation.   Not what might be twisted ballot language and possibly misleading FAQ on the ISD website. 

   Just be aware that in passing this, your taxes may not increase....they also may not decrease. 

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