No rush to set tax vote

An in-depth feasibility study, including a detailed operational plan complete with profit-and-loss projections, needs to be produced and studied by the City Council and the voters before the city sets the date of the referendum.

An EDITORIAL

            The Grenada Mayor/Council will, at some point, set an election date for Grenadians to choose whether voters want to increase taxes on food and motel rooms in order to finance a sports complex.

There is no rush, no pending deadline. The law (SB 3024) passed in the last legislative session, leaves the date of the election in the hands of the Grenada Mayor/Council.

We strongly urge the Mayor/Council not to set the date of the election until after a thorough feasibility study has been completed and studied by the electorate.

The voters need to know answers to such questions as:

  • How much is the project going to cost to build?
  • Will there be a bond issue? If so, for how much?
  • How much does the city currently owe?
  • Where is the best location for the complex?
  • What is the projected direct annual revenue of such a complex?
  • What is the projected annual operating expense?
  • Can the operating expense and the bond service expense, be covered out of tourism tax increase revenue alone?
  • What is the projected economic impact of the completed project?
  • How detrimental is the competition from other cities?
  • Will it be operated by a third party, or run by the city like the Dogwoods Golf Course?

To rush a vote before the voters understand the costs and benefits of the project, and before the voters are comfortable with the business plan, could severely endanger obtaining the necessary 60 percent approval required for passage.

Our observation is that there is a significant number of older voters who need to be convinced the city has a good plan in place. They have watched the city-run golf course drain city coffers for years. The do not want a repeat of that, but they also have expressed the feeling that something may need to be done to get Grenada “cranked up” and moving again.

An in-depth feasibility study, including a detailed operational profile and profit-and-loss projections, needs to be produced and studied by the City Council and the voters before the city sets the date of the referendum.