The Newport City Council will be be asking for public opinion December 2nd on how high of an interest rate the city should pay on bonds earmarked to pay for a new municipal pool. The ballot measure specifically stated the the tax rate would be approximately 45 cents per thousand – approximately is the key term because 45-cents is an approximate tax rate necessary to raise $7.9 million for the pool, plus interest. It’s a fact of life that municipal bond interest rates vary every day. So between election day and the day the bonds are sold, interest rates may be higher or lower, meaning the tax rate may be higher or lower to reflect those fluctuating interest rates.
What the council will be looking for is an upper rate that the public will agree to, to trigger the bond sale. At the moment, interim Finance Director Bob Gazewood predicts the rate will be less than the ballot estimate of 45-cents per thousand – possibly as low at 43 cents. However, it could happen, that based on fluctuating financial market conditions (and they vary hourly sometimes) the rate might rise to as high as 49-cents per thousand. Even if it goes to 49-cents, the additional taxes paid by a family owning a home at 200-thousand dollars of assessed valuation, it might amount to a dollar a month. Of course, if the interest rate falls for municipal bonds, Newport taxpayers would pay at a rate less than 45-cents per thousand dollars of assessed valuation.
So when the city council asks for public opinion on raising the annual tax rate 12 dollars a year more than what was targeted (or lower as targeted) as a tax rate, they’ll listen and then take the public’s desires into account.
The meeting is Monday, December 2nd, at 6pm at City Hall.