2016-11-24 / Letters

Residents wonder if bonds will be used for garage

To the editor:

Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant is pushing his dream of a downtown parking garage, all while promising the tax payers it will not affect their pocket books. He is suggesting that revenues from the parking spaces will make the garage self-sustaining. It’s probably fair to assume the city does not have the assets to pay for the building; therefore it is also fair that the city could need to issue a bond to cover the costs of construction and other expenses.

There two main types of municipal bonds that are most commonly used: general obligation and revenue bonds. General obligation bonds are backed and paid for by taxpayers. They are usually used to finance schools, roads, municipal buildings and other such items. On the other hand, revenue bonds finance sport stadiums, toll bridges and even parking garages. The bond holders are paid by and only by the revenues generated from the investment, the taxpayers are left out of the equation. If the mayor gets his way with the building of the garage and he is so certain this will be a successful venture, we would completely expect him to issue a revenue bond to protect the taxpayers in Biddeford. After all, municipal bond buyers are typically savvy, high net worth investors looking for tax-free income offered from municipal bonds. If they feel the garage is a viable venture, they will purchase the revenue bonds.

Craig Cantara, Howard Hanson Concerned Citizens of Biddeford

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