Bonds are not free money

An Editorial

     Someone sent the newspaper a copy of an Internet posting stating that the $6 million infrastructure bond the Mayor and Council are in the process of securing “won’t cost Grenada citizens one cent because it is funded by bonds.”
     This, of course, is totally incorrect.
     Bonds are merely a loan. Just like a car loan. Just like a house loan. Taxpayers will have to pay them back.
     A quick run on an Excel amortization schedule indicates that if taxpayers borrow $6 million at the 11% ceiling rate mentioned in the city council’s published Public Notice – over the course of 19 years taxpayers will pay back $14,329,306 – including $8,329,306 in interest. This would be an additional cost of $3,176 for each of the city’s 4,512 households.
     If the bond interest is a more reasonable 6%, the interest comes to $4,069,615, still making Grenada taxpayers shell out a total of over ten million dollars ($10,069,615). This would be an additional cost of $2,232 for each of the city’s 4,512 households.
     The bond’s financial mathematics may not tabulate exactly like the Excel amortization table, but the fact is that over the course of the loan, taxpayers will have to pay back a large amount of money.
     Although the city council voted unanimously to seek bids on projects connected with the infrastructure bond, to our knowledge taxpayers have not been told how their money is going to be spent.
     This is your tax money. You deserve transparency.
     Urge your councilman and your mayor to schedule a public meeting so that taxpayers can have some input.

Note: The Public Notice concerning the bond issue was published on July 3 and is scheduled to be published again in the GrenadaStar printed edition on August 6 (as required by state law). It is also currently posted on the website in the Opinion Section.
Also Note: This $6 million bond issue has nothing whatsoever to do with the proposed sports complex.