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Council to consider resolution on bonds
Monday, April 22, 2013
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Martinsville City Council on Tuesday will consider a resolution urging the federal government to maintain tax-exempt status on municipal bonds.
Congress is considering eliminating the ability of states and localities to issue bonds to provide for tax-exempt financing. That type of financing is “critical to providing infrastructure for our community and throughout the nation,” a report in the council’s agenda packet states.
Potential threats to tax-exempt financing, the report shows, including taxing the interest on bonds, narrow the scope of projects eligible for tax-exempt financing, changing overall tax rates and making tax-exempt investments less attractive, the report shows.
Tax-exempt municipal bonds can be used to fund public utility projects such as electric power plants, water and sewer lines, schools and roads.
American Municipal Power, through which Martinsville buys wholesale power, and the Blue Ridge Power Agency, with which the city consults on electricity matters, are urging the council to adopt the resolution.
If the resolution is approved, copies would be sent to federal lawmakers representing Martinsville, as well as President Barack Obama.
The resolution will be considered when the council meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building on West Church Street uptown.
Other agenda items include:
• Hearing a presentation by Piedmont Governor’s School students about a recent survey of area residents.
• Conducting a public hearing on a tax-exemption request by Step Inc., an organization that helps poverty victims.
• Hearing from Team Cole & Associates about activities pertaining to the Martinsville Mustangs baseball team’s upcoming 2013 season.
• Considering adopting an “anti-displacement resolution” required by the state as part of preliminary work on a Community Development Block Grant.
• Considering setting a public hearing on the city’s proposed fiscal 2014 budget.
• Hearing an update on a recent council neighborhood meeting held at Albert Harris Elementary School.
• Considering a proclamation recognizing National Correctional Officers Week.
• Considering routine-type budget changes and hearing a report on city finances.
• Hearing business from the floor.
At 7 p.m., the council will meet in closed session to talk with legal counsel, discuss a proposed contract being negotiated and consider appointments to boards and commissions.