Over the past few months, council has heard about some wonderful plans to make our town a better place. And now it comes down to what we can afford and how we’re going to pay for it. The agenda for Monday night’s meeting ranges from proposed expenditures (the Parks and Greenways plan and solar development projects on municipal land) to obligations we’ve committed to (curbside recycling contract) and bills we’ve already racked up (Town Hall renovations).
And though it’s not on the agenda, bear in mind we have not yet nailed down how we will meet our moral obligation of about $4 million to provide water and sewer service to the Rogers Road neighborhood.
During the agenda item about financing the renovation of Town Hall and infrastructure and other improvements to the Ephesus Church-Fordham Road area, expect to keep your Investopedia page open. You’ll undoubtedly hear about TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) and synthetic TIFs, a funding scheme Ken Pennoyer used in Durham to pay for the large parking decks near the American Tobacco Complex.
I’ve been reading up on these alternative funding sources to see whether I could use any of them to convince my banker to lend me money for small-scale investment property, but I suspect these options aren’t available to commoners. Our role, as taxpayers, is simply to provide the financial backing, in the form of higher taxes, should the revenue not come in as bountifully as hoped.
It’s a familiar feeling.
– Nancy Oates