Bonds will fund county projects

Published 9:37 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lincoln County’s roads and bridges need help. So do some of the county-owned structures.

But repairs and upkeep cost money. Where does the county’s Board of Supervisors turn to get the money needed for these projects? One place they turn is to the sale of bonds.

The county currently is receiving sealed bids on two types of bonds: general obligation road bonds and general obligation building bonds.

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Bids for the county bonds are being accepted until 9 a.m., May 15, when they will be opened publicly at the regular monthly supervisors meeting.

According to the public notice ads that have been published in The Daily Leader, the board is looking to sell $775,000 in road bonds and $780,000 in building bonds.

The road bonds will be used on a specific road and bridge project determined by the board. The money will be utilized to cover cost of repairs and reconstruction, as well as any land or equipment purchase necessary for the project.

These bonds will mature serially June 1 of each year for the next 10 years (2018-2027), in the amount of $77,500 each year.

The building bonds will be used specifically for the renovation of the Ability Works building at 934 Industrial Park Road NE. Jay Van Construction will act as general contractor for the project.

The building bonds will mature serially June 1 of each year for the next 15 years (2018-2032), in the amount of $52,000 each year.

While most countries use their central banks, private banks or multilateral banks as lenders, most U.S. cities — as well as counties and states — sell bonds to individuals. These bonds can be taxable or tax-exempt.

According to The Brookings Institute, a D.C.-based non-profit public policy organization, nearly 75 percent of the $3.6 trillion of outstanding debt issued by cities or states is owned by American households, usually through a municipal bond fund. The three most notable bond programs are tax-exempt bonds, a.k.a. tax-exempt munis, Private Activity Bonds and Build America Bonds. PABs primarily benefit privately-owned businesses and BABs are taxable.

The bonds being issued by Lincoln County are tax-exempt bonds. These bonds can be used for any public purpose, including public buildings, bridges, highways and airports. The federal government allows bond owners to deduct interest earned. There is no federal cap on the amount of tax-exempt bonds local governments can issue.