Bonds, approved bonds

With about a sixth of the precincts in, all eleven of Oklahoma City’s bond propositions look like easy winners: the least popular, #11, which calls for the establishment of a fund for economic and community development, is drawing 76.4 percent approval, and some others are up in the 80s.

You might conclude from this that city government is actually considered credible these days, and believe me, if you were around here during the days when it wasn’t, you’d see this as a major improvement.

I thumbed through the 2007-08 budget book, which you probably don’t want to read because it’s a huge PDF (if you do, it’s here), and debt service comes to $54 million, about 7 percent of city expenditures. Briefly noted therein:

The Debt Service Fund is supported by property taxes. The tax rate or mill levy is based on the projected debt service requirements for the City and anticipated judgments. By State law, municipalities may only use property tax for debt service and operations. There is no limit on the level of debt service since all debt must be approved by the voters. The City Council has adopted an informal policy that the City will attempt to keep the mill levy for property tax at 16 mills. Although the mill levy has varied over the years based on the timing of new bond issues and growth in assessed values, the City has not exceeded the 16 mill rate in many years.

Current millage is in fact 15.95; the last time it was over 16 was 1993.

Turnout, owing to the weather, was even lighter than usual: maybe 5 percent, instead of the usual 8-12.

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