Frequently Asked Questions - Q6


Question:

Isn’t Exhibit A misleading? Water and sewer debt and revenues had to be expanded to cover the environmentally mandated capital expenditures, plus the City debt has been recently impacted by the expansions of the airport and the convention center.

Answer:

The bonds required for the environmentally mandated water and sewer improvements were issued some years ago, and are hardly justification for the continued unabated increase in water and sewer revenues. Right now, about 55% of water and sewer revenues are left over after operating expenses, enough to more than service water and sewer debt (and still transfer monies to the general fund). Yes, airport and convention center debt jumped in fiscal 2001 due to expansions of facilities. But bear in mind that, even after those increases in debt, airport debt was only about 19% of total City debt and convention center debt only about 8%. Right now, airport revenues are only about 12% of total City revenues and the convention center revenues only about 3%. Water and sewer revenues are definitely nothing but “hidden taxes” and the airport and convention center operations are but a minor piece of City total revenues. Even considered separately, general revenues have increased significantly in excess of the combined rates of increase in population and inflation.



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