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For a city to pay for larger capital project, cities sell bonds to pay for the projects. Bonds are sold to investors who looking for a stable return in the future on the money they invest today. The city commits to repay the bondholders with interest over a specific time period (often twenty years). Because the repayment is several years, the city only uses bonds for projects that will have a life span of multiple years, like roads, parks and buildings. The city strives to typically put bond programs forth to the voters every 5-7 years.
The exact increase in property taxes will depend on the taxable value of your property, the total bond amount, and the timing of when the bonds are issued. Other variables that could cause the total amount to change over time include if the city is able to refinance the bonds at a future date in time (no earlier than 10 years after they are originally issued), any changes in the exemptions that are given, and the annual tax rate that is set.
The below examples show what the property taxes would be for a house of a given value with the state exemptions. T This information should be used as estimates only.
An example assuming all bonds are issued in the full amount authorized: A resident whose home is valued at $277,650 whose taxable home value after the homestead exemption is $222,120 is set to pay an additional $45.64 annually or a tax rate impact of approximately $ .02055 to the debt portion of the city's property tax rate.
The bond program is intended to last for 5 years. If the bond program is approved by voters, the City anticipates selling the first and majority of the debt from this program in 2024. The design fees and construction costs for the proposed Public Safety and Municipal Court facility and the expansion for the Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management Department for approximately $30,100,000 of the total would require the bulk of the proceeds. In 2026, the City project to sell the remaining portion of the total bond program as the Fire Truck and Fire Training Tower are completed. If approved, a more specific schedule, showing when individual projects are planned to begin would be developed. Due to the high fees that full design and architectural drawings are for facilities, the full design cost would not be approved until results of bond election.
Starting in strategic planning in 2021-22, the city council began discussing the facility needs of its first responder departments. It was approved through a special Public Safety Fund to employ architects to look at the current and projected needs of the Public Safety, Municipal Court, EMS, and Emergency Management Departments and develop a feasibility study to program what type of building and square footage would be needed.
Staff released two Request for Qualifications (RFQs) and council approved hiring BRW Architects to look at the EMS and Emergency Management Departments facility needs and Randall Scott Architects for the Public Safety and Municipal Court needs. Through the summer, staff within these departments continued to work with the firms to refine the needs and get a fiscally sound proposal for the facilities before city council. After many renditions and reductions, council approved the conceptual plans that are Proposition A and C.
Proposition C items were presented to city council through the budget process with the input and direction of the Seabrook Volunteer Fire Department and staff. Large apparatus such as the proposed fire truck (pumper) have a life span of approximately 20 years and have been added to the city's long term capital planning document. This project did not have another funding source and city council approved moving forward with bond proceeds for the first apparatus need. The second item for the training tower was recently added as a capital project, but the long term benefits to the community for fire insurance rating prioritized this project to advancement on this bond program.
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