Phoenix approves $500M in bonds to fund public safety, housing, more

Dec 16, 2022, 12:00 PM

PHOENIX — The proposed $500 million General Obligation Bonds Program received approval by the Phoenix City Council to fund new and existing initiatives.

The council’s Fiscal Capacity Committee recommended the program to fund or rehabilitate infrastructure such as fire stations, police precincts, libraries, parks, storm drains and art centers.

The city said that $132.5 million would go toward public safety, $81.5 million to streets and storm drainage, $64 millions to parks and recreation and $63 million to housing, human services and homelessness.

General obligation bond programs require community approval, and voters will decide its future during a November 2023 special bond election.

“If voters approve, this will make our city safer, with better parks, better streets, better care for those in need and more,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said in a tweet.

Public safety projects include four new fire stations, the replacement of the Cactus Park Police Precinct and renovation of two other police stations.

An additional $26 million would benefit environment and sustainability efforts, such as funding for energy and water efficiency upgrades at city facilities.

A general obligation bond is a form of debt obligation that provides a local government with funds for capital improvements backed by secondary property tax revenues.

The Fiscal Capacity Committee determined that the bond program can be supported without increasing secondary property tax rates absent “unanticipated” legislative changes or economic impacts. Phoenix’s debt would remain below its constitutional debt limits.

The approval took three months of deliberation and the GO Bond Executive Committee — appointed in June — held 34 hybrid in-person and virtual meetings open to the public.

The last GO bond program was approved in 2006 for $878.5 million.

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Phoenix approves $500M in bonds to fund public safety, housing, more