Indebted

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It is our position that selling bonds to refinance the City of Carmel’s redevelopment debt was the right thing to do. Carmel’s refinancing bonds sold at 3.24 percent, for a total savings through refinancing of $75 million. The sale included taxable and tax-exempt bonds. It is certainly a vote of confidence in the city’s financial stability that the bonds sold quickly during one of the worst recessions in years. Standard & Poor’s said the outlook on Carmel’s AA+ bond ratings was “stable” and should remain the same for the two-year outlook due to Carmel’s “detailed focus on long-term planning” and the city’s “healthy economy,” and the city’s fiscal management was described as “good.”

The question remains, “What is a normal amount of debt for a city to carry without raising taxes?” And, it appears that since Carmel agreed to provide a general property tax back-up to obtain a lower interest rate that a property tax hike could, but probably won’t, happen. With all the “sexy” redevelopment projects occurring in Hamilton County, we must continue to maintain vital infrastructure like exemplary schools, police and fire protection and aging neighborhoods to continue to attract and keep the caliber of tax payer/resident necessary to “fuel the redevelopment fire.”

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