Connect NC Bond – Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Connect NC Bond?
The bond will connect NC to the 21st Century as it makes a $2 billion investment into infrastructure. These investments to upgrade are vital in keeping NC competitive to grow business and create jobs.
What main focus areas will the Connect NC Bond address?
The main focus areas are education, parks, safety, recreation, and water and sewer infrastructure. The $2 billion investment will fund projects in 76 NC counties.
Does the Connect NC bond meet all of our state’s infrastructure needs? And what is the direct impact it will have on Forsyth County?
In reality, it’s just a start. While this bond will go a long way toward connecting more North Carolinians to educational and recreational opportunities the majority of our state’s infrastructure needs will remain unmet and our community colleges and universities will still have projects that need to be built on their campuses. But Connect NC begins the long-neglected task of building and upgrading our state’s infrastructure. It’s been 15 years since the last general obligation bond was authorized to upgrade our state’s infrastructure and since then North Carolina has added 2 million people in population.
The direct impact to Forsyth County is great:
* UNCSA-$ 10.9 million- Old Library and Performance Place Renovations
* Forsyth Tech- $5,809,410-New Construction, repairs, and renovations
* WSSU- $ 50 million- New state of the arts Science Building
Will Connect NC Bond mean a tax increase citizens?
No tax increases are necessary to finance the bond. The state has ample credit capacity and strong revenue growth to borrow and repay the bonds with no tax increase. Because we are paying off our existing debt rapidly, our overall debt levels will not increase with this new bond.
What is the value in using bonds to build state infrastructure?
The bond allows us to pay over 20 to 25 years for assets that will last 50 years or more, and to do so at historically low rates. Most of these projects cannot be financed from our annual operating budget, just as most homeowners pay for a house as they use it over time, not the day that they move in. North Carolina has been rated AAA since state ratings began in the 1960s, and will continue to be rated AAA with this bond issue.
Can NC afford to take on $2 billion in debt?
Yes. The Connect NC bond proposal is well within current debt affordability as determined by the State Treasurer and the nonpartisan Debt Affordability Committee. North Carolina is one of only 10 states with AAA credit rating from all three major ratings agencies. This top credit rating saves North Carolina taxpayers millions of dollars and this bond will not do anything to jeopardize that pristine credit ratings. Because we are paying off our existing debt rapidly, our overall debt levels will not increase with this new bond. With interest rates at historic lows, it has never been less expensive to borrow.
What do voters need to do in order to get this bond passed?
Make sure you are registered to vote. The deadline to register to vote for the March primary is February 19, 2016. Make sure you have proper photo ID when heading to vote. You will need current photo ID to vote in the 2016 elections. Make sure you vote YES for the Connect NC Bonds…it will not impact your taxes and it’s the right thing to do to help the entire state’s infrastructure needs in the main focus area discussed.