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Opinion: Vote “NO” to avoid 108% INCREASE in city debt

$26,500,000 deeper in debt.

That is the REAL story behind this River City Renaissance Project in Mason City.

Current General Obligation Bond City debt is $24,597,900. If these two Nov. 7th General Obligation Urban Renewal Bond issues are approved, the City will add $26,500,000.

Bringing the NEW General Obligation bond total to $51,097,900.

A 108% increase of GO Bond debt.

The up front money for this Renaissance Project is overwhelmingly from public borrowed money via these new City GO Bond proceeds.

City of MC: $26,500,000.
Gatehouse equity: $1,500,000.
Senior Lender to Gatehouse: $9,000,000.
Total: $37,000,000.

Public money supplies approximately 71.4% of the $37 million necessary to fund all projects on day one.

This $26.5 million of new City General Obligation debt carries the full faith and credit of the City of MC behind it to the investors who purchase these City bonds.

That means access to the City tax levy if necessary to fund the 20 years of payment to retire this bond debt.

Then realize that this Renaissance Plan involves giving away to the Southbridge owner $13,500,000 from the City’s $26,500,000.

Then add millions for the cost of interest on this new $26,500,000 of City GO Bond debt.

The so-called state “grant” (what a laugh) from the Iowa Reinvestment Act via the IEDA is NO multi-million dollar check to the City as is alluded to in some officials comments. Disingenuous and misleading statements from these officials who are hell-bent on helping a few retailers at the expense of the common citizens.

This approved sum will have to earned from sales in NEW business facilities within a 25 acre Urban Renewal District in downtown MC within 20 years. The sales tax is 9% of the sales that becomes this so called grant money. If the new business facilities sales fall short and the expected tax revenue is less
than the IEDA sum awarded – tough luck MC! See your taxes GO UP as the mayor alluded to Tuesday night.

Vote NO on the Lease Agreement for $13,500,000 gift money to the Southbridge Mall owner from New York, $60,000 behind in taxes already on the mall.

A Concerned Citizen
Mason City, Iowa

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