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Page last updated on April 21, 2022 at 6:28 pm

Thanks again for your attention. Briefly tonight, before further consideration and the public hearing and a potential vote, I’ll just reiterate the very basics, at one time, including for members of the public.


We’ve proposed two general obligation (G.O.) bonds, to be paid for annually by a small increase in city property tax rates. Each of the two bonds will support a five-million-dollar series of investments in key infrastructure, related particularly to parks, and public works, planned to continue every five years. We’ve also proposed for your consideration an increase in the Local Income Tax (LIT), using population allocation for an Economic Development LIT. These annual funds will let the City meet critical current needs and address important challenges facing our community. Four general categories: Public Safety - Police and Fire operations and Public Safety facilities generally; Essential City Services - All our core operations and personnel; Climate Change Preparedness and Mitigation - Climate Action Plan and Bloomington Transit; And Equity and Quality of Life - Housing, Jobs, and Safety Net, and more.


I won’t go into more detail on categories, but welcome questions, related to the extensive information already exchanged. 


The two bonds, which involve borrowing to make investments that pay off through time, will make us stronger, more equitable, and more sustainable. And as you know, we have the capacity to do so. We are still well below any statutory debt limits, and when we compare Bloomington’s overall debt per capita burden with peer cities in Indiana, we are right in the middle, and we would stay right there in the middle after these bonds are in place. 


Similarly, with regard to local income tax levels: right now, we are in the lowest quartile of all the state’s counties by rate. And we are the very lowest rate of the seven contiguous counties including Monroe. After adopting the proposed increase, we would move to the middle of the rates in our seven-county region.  


We shared with you earlier today specific answers to questions that have arisen on or since the 13th. For example, regarding a question about departures from city employment, indeed we have seen that accelerating. 2021 saw retirements and departures from city employment up more than 50% compared to the prior five-year annual average. And with 36 departures so far in 2022, we are on pace to exceed 2021. We need to do more for our employees. We shared information as well about energy savings, police and fire facilities, electric vehicle and equipment replacements, the Green Ribbon Panel, and more. 


Many of us from the administration are here tonight, as we have been throughout the past weeks and months, for questions, clarifications, and feedback. We thank you for your strong collaboration. We urge you to come together, in a general consensus, to move our community ahead. 


I’ll close by noting that it is certainly appropriate to evaluate and measure the cost of accomplishing these various investments in our community’s future. It is also very appropriate to evaluate and measure the cost of NOT doing these investments. We look forward to working together.