Updated: Mar 3
The presentations of One Big Sky District are intended to get us excited about the project. They have, and I believe you will find most all of us support the concept of OBSD. Obviously, printed opinions show our support is not being given blindly. As we conduct our due diligence I suggest all of us take a look at the proposed legislation sent to Helena.
Briefly, Section 9 codifies into law that the payments received under all tiers are plus interest. Thus, the 3.7 million, 20 year tier 1 annual payment, (given as an example in an earlier opinion) is inaccurate because it does not include the interest. Additionally, under paragraph 4 of Section 9 all the payments are extended for another 10 years. Our three 20 year notes have suddenly been turned into three 30 year notes.
As we can see, the $250 million cap on tax expenditures isn’t even close to the true amount of tax money to be spent. There is more, Section 10 codifies into law taxing options so we can pay our share of OBSD at the local level. We are given authority to issue municipal bonds, or we can use TIF dollars, or we can impose special improvement district assessments…surprise, surprise!
If the proposed legislation to support OBSD ever gets to a committee hearing we need go to Helena by the busloads and put a stop to it. We simply must not support the OSBD legislation as written.
CITY COUNCIL LETTER
Honorable Mayor Cole and City Council,
The proposed legislation to fund the One Big Sky District has yet to be assigned a bill number. We have no assurance that the legislation will ever be passed. Until such time that the proposed legislation passes, it is irresponsible to make plans assuming there will be funding. No funding means no OBSD. Anything spent from this point forward may well be like “trying to nail jello to a tree.”
Do not vote to fund another dime for OSBD.