Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bond Approval Rates Continue to Fall

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bond Approval Rates Continue to Fall

Article excerpt

Voters in cities and towns across the country considered a record number of municipal bond issues and other referenda on election day last Tuesday, but bond approval rates continued to fall. According to the Bond Buyer, voters in municipal elections approved only 76 of 117 municipal bond issues valued at $693 million.

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The municipal approval rate was slightly lower than the national municipal bond approval rate of 65.9 percent or $6.71 billion of the $10.18 billion worth of bonds considered.

The action came as voters rejected a number of referenda which would have seriously limited local spending authority, rejected most new state taxes and rejected many initiatives to expand gambling in cities and towns.

Voters in Missouri, Montana and Oregon rejected proposals that would have required state and local taxes to gain voter approval, while voters in Florida and Nevada adopted changes to impose tax limits.

For cities, the key referenda issues revolved around taxes and revenue, but voters also rejected efforts to establish casino gambling in Florida, Massachusetts, Rhose Island, and Colorado. New Mexico voters approved a new video lottery and video gambling. Colorado voters rejected a 50 cent cigarette tax to pay for health care and antismoking programs; California voters killed a proposal to raise gasoline taxes 4 percent to fund transportation projects. On other ballot issues affecting local governments, California voters overwhelmingly adopted a "three times and you're in for life" measure for third-time serious offenders and equally overwhelmingly rejected a proposed state single payer health care plan. …

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