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The Standard Bond Canard

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Gotta love this sub-hed from the uptown paper of record’s story on the city’s looming bond referendum:

Foxx: Charlotte leaders will emphasize taxes won’t rise to repay $204 million

Of course taxes won’t rise to repay bonds, just like they never rise to repay enormous debt on any other boondoggle the uptown lunch bunch concocts. It’s one of the oldest ruses in politics: Spend the money on your pet project, then claim taxes must, absolutely must be hiked to pay for police, fire, or any other core-government service. It’s for the children, you know.

Don’t fall for it.

The total bond package breaks out with $157 million for road improvements, $32 million for so-called neighborhood development, and $15 million for subsidized housing. Each issue can be voted on separately.

City leaders rightfully fret the issue for subsidized housing has the greatest threat level for failure. The big question is does the Democrat-controlled City Council go DEFCON 1 before November and ram through the nuclear option of inclusionary zoning as part of a new affordable housing locational policy. It would be a way to appease their liberal base, which already is gearing up for a fight. This from TCO:

But council members were surprised when some neighborhood activists said they were against the $15 million in bonds for affordable housing because they believe the city isn’t doing enough to disperse low-income housing.

Aaron McKeithen, who lives along Beatties Ford Road and is a member of the Historic West End Neighborhood Association, said the city shouldn’t ask for bonds until the “racial discriminatory practices are reviewed and resolved by both HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) and the city of Charlotte.”

At Monday’s meeting, Foxx pushed back against that sentiment, saying the city is working to change its policy that helps guide where new affordable housing can be built. He said it’s unfortunate that when people don’t have a place to sleep, people are arguing over where new housing should be built.

The council’s Housing and Neighborhood Development committee is currently wrapping up a series of public forums to get feedback on proposed revisions to the locational policy. Phase II is slated to include review and discussion of inclusionary zoning and density bonuses, with the HAND committee to approve a final recommended policy early next month. A vote by the full council is scheduled for late September, just in time for the usual gang of bond cheerleaders to start shaking their pompoms.

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