To open this meeting, we are hearing from Chairman Billy Ray about the projects over the last several years - Archives, the Jail, the Courthouse, etc. etc.
Billy Ray: There is an issue of raising taxes, but we cannot think of it this way as much as we should "pay for what we have done."
UPDATE #1 - Now, we are hearing from our Financial Advisor, Thomas D. McAnulty of Stephens, Inc. // The Commissioners should have the facts and options. // This meeting will help us see where you are, how you got here, and what's steps you should take... // Going through the indebtedness, and reasons for said indebtedness since 1999
UPDATE #2 - 6:14pm - As a side note, any one that would like copies of these figures presented by Mr. McAnulty, please contact me. I have a costs of all of these outlays.
UPDATE #3 - 6:16pm - Still from Mr. McAnulty: Now going through the current indebtedness. // He is going through bond markets, and providing some information on the relevance of these docs.
UPDATE #4 - 6:18pm - By the way, the Commissioners here tonight: Steve Haley, Shannon Polen, Don Eden, Carol Dugger, Faye Stubblefield, Billy Ray, Tommy Jackson, Billy Vogle, James Bowens, Patsi Gregory, Bobby Jones, Bill Grey and Bubb Dorris.
UPDATE #5 - 6:23pm - Our Credit ratings: S&P: A+ / Moody's AA3
UPDATE #6 - 6:27pm - We have a "good" credit rating, and there are only two others counties have a better standing in the State of Tennessee
UPDATE #7 - 6:33pm - Hearing the fundamentals: "Understanding County Budgets" // Going through the particulars of what we, as a county, are REQUIRED to provide to the citizens of a county - education, jails & correctional services, etc. Interesting: studies show that 90% of a typical budget are non-discretional expenditures.
Here we go: "Paying for what we borrowed"
UPDATE #8 - 6:39pm - May be elementary, but bonds are a contractual obligation to pay - state will intervene with the requirement to raise property taxes in the event that we cannot meet those obligations.
Even though we are new....we have inherited certain debts.....See, but I feel as though my obligation is to first look at what we can be more responsible for, first.
UPDATE #9 - 6:44pm - We are operating at -4,882,000 expenses
UPDATE #10 - 6:53pm - Possibility that the 2012 property appraisal going down..... // Serious problem with funding debt service fund
UPDATE #11 - 7:01pm - Mr. McAnulty: In order to cover, the property tax increase would need to be $00.34 right now to cover debt service estimates.
UPDATE #11 - 7:03pm - Going through a proposed resolution. Now we are going through the semantics of what a property tax increase is.....basically, because we are so far in debt, we HAVE to "adjust" the property tax rate.
UPDATE #12 - 7:06pm - OPTIONS: Re-structure & Re-finance: We could reduce the amount of the property tax increase, we could delay the property tax increase....Basically, looking at an approach to stagger the tax increases for each year.
UPDATE #13 - 7:10 - See, what comes to mind in this entire discussion, I have not heard one reference as to this County operating at the peak of efficiency, and that there is no alternative BUT to raise taxes and/or re-structure this debt. My initial impression is that we must look back to what we have been entrusted before looking for more to entrust ourselves with...
UPDATE #14 - 7:13pm - Listening to the added costs (outside of the interest rates on these bonds).
It is sobering when you hear that borrowing $15mil will cost $9mil.