On Oct. 11, I attended a town hall at the Convention Center conducted by Nicholas Azzara. I specifically asked a question as to how much money the county would be paying in interest for the list of sales-tax capital-improvements projects. The language of the commissioners resolution specifically indicates it is inclusive of interest.
Mr Azzara publicly took my email address and promised to contact me with the information. I waited patiently for the information until Oct. 27. Mr Azzara. told me he could not give me the figure because it would depend on how much the commissioners borrowed and at what interest rate.
This is the same type of trick the school board pulled several years ago when they asked for a sales tax. The school board then eliminated impact fees and borrowed huge amounts of money, resulting in taxpayers spending millions in interest rather than spending money to build schools.
The list of the county project is very specific and will result in $23 million being spent every year. The commissioners know which projects will require them to borrow and they have a good idea what it will cost them in interest. This is not rocket science, especially for a full-time professional staff that is accustomed to making forecasts of needed projects and obtaining revenues to pay for those projects.
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If county commissioners cannot answer questions such as this, then they have not considered the need for the sales tax carefully enough. Remember the original list of projects totaled $1 billion dollars. It has been cut down to $345 million dollars.
In a few years they will be coming back to us for additional sales taxes. This is even more reason for the commissioners to fully explain the need for all capital improvements.
Kenneth L. Piper