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ACTION ALERT: League Executive Committee Backs CONNECT NC Bond Initiative

December 21, 2015

The North Carolina League of Municipalities Executive Committee has voted to endorse and support the $2 billion CONNECT NC bond initiative that will be put before voters on March 15, 2016. The water and sewer funding and the parks and recreation funding are in line with current League advocacy goals.

The bond package was authorized by legislation this past session. 

If approved by the voters of North Carolina, the bonds will provide $2 billion dollars in funding including $309.5 million for upgrades for water and sewer projects in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties, and $3 million in funds for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to provide matching grants for local governments for adaptions to and building parks that are accessible to children with disabilities and veterans with disabilities.
The Board believes that clean water and sewer systems are essential for the 21st century to attract new and assist existing industry, business, technology, and tourism for the benefit of the State and its citizenry.   If passed, CONNECT NC bond would provide millions of dollars for other investments that will have spillover economic benefits for surrounding municipalities.   A breakdown of the total two billion is below:

University System New Building Construction/STEM, Repairs and Renovations     $980,000,000
Community College System New Building Construction, Repairs and Renovations     $350,000,000
Local Parks and Water and Sewer Infrastructure         $312,500,000
Agriculture              $179,000,000
North Carolina State Parks and Attractions          $100,000,000
National Guard Regional Training Center Construction          $70,000,000
Public Safety                  $8,500,000 
Total            $2,000,000,000
Importantly, the CONNECT NC bonds should not lead to higher taxes. The new bonds are expected to be paid utilizing existing taxes and keeping existing tax rates the same, as existing General Fund-supported debt in the state has been falling for four straight years and is projected by the N.C. Treasurer to drop dramatically through 2019.
The resolution adopted by the Board can be found on the NCLM website here.
We remind you that public funds cannot be used to promote this campaign. We encourage you to consult with your city attorney about how you can support the proposal and refer you to an article written by the UNC School of Government.

Posted on December 21, 2015 by Scott Mooneyham