Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Deep Thoughts on Guilford County's Debt, by Scott Yost

"County Nearing $1 Billion Debt

Guilford County is about to move past a milestone that will be a millstone around its financial neck for years to come.

Once Guilford County finishes issuing the latest round of voter-approved debt, likely to be in fiscal 2011-2012, the county will have...taken on a total debt obligation of roughly $1,069,000,000..., and now some Guilford County commissioners and other county officials are wondering where the county is going to find the money to pay off its debt payments – especially since those payments skyrocket over the next several years and stay at peak levels for
some time to come.

$27,502,294 more in 2011/12

$41,330,088 more than 2010/11 in 2012/13

Meaning Guilford County will be about $61,000,000 short
of 2010/11 revenues by July 2011
and about a $74,827,794 shortfall by July 2012
based on 2010/11's revenues
not counting hiring about 80 new correction officers
and not one Guilford County News Outlet has informed anyone?
Page 3 of 8

...all that debt repayment is hitting the county at one of the worst possible times: during an economic slowdown and after two budgets when commissioners and county officials have already cut costs to what – they claim at least – is the bone. 1992...Guilford County's total debt was $81 million. fiscal 1999-2000, the county had reduced its outstanding debt to $67 million.

...Lately it's become more and more evident at Guilford County Board of Commissioners meetings and work sessions that the commissioners are becoming highly alarmed as the debt numbers become clearer and nearer.

...Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston is one county official who said he isn't worried about the looming debt service.

"I'm not alarmed at all," Alston said. "All we have to do is continue to do what we're doing now."

Like spending all the savings just allocated to mask the true deficit
and actual extent of Guilford County's financial mismanagement
of taxpayer dollars?

Alston said that means "continuing to be efficient with the taxpayers' money" and having the ability "to ask the hard questions."

Half the work that is done in this world
is to make things appear what they are not

Elias Root Beadle

...Alston said a lot has been done already to reduce Guilford County government, but more, he said, can be done to allow the county to adequately fund its debt service – most likely without a tax increase next year.

$27,502,294 more in 2011/12

$41,330,088 more than 2010/11 in 2012/13
Page 3 of 8
George Hartzman

"I truly believe we can have another no tax increase again next year with the right leadership and the will of the board to do the work they've been elected to do," Alston said.

Sometimes people mistake the way I talk
for what I am thinking

Idi Amin

...over the last year and a half, commissioners have been...doing things like taking the county's savings account to the lowest recommended level [The County intends to spend about $34,000,000 of savings in 2010/11] and putting off paying for just about anything that could be put off – for instance, fleet maintenance and building maintenance, which can be put off for a while – but, when those payments must finally be made, they tend to be more costly than they would have been otherwise. "

Scott D. Yost, County Editor
Rhino Times, July 08, 2010

Human beings are… of two persuasions
the first would spend tomorrow what they earn today
the second would spend today what they hope to earn tomorrow

From this…arise all conflicts that lead to economic crises
to panics, depressions, violent and revolutionary transfers of wealth
and perhaps most wars

Freeman Tilden

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