“We don’t want to try to predict what the city government should spend on public safety 50 years from now. That’s why we have an annual budgeting process, ”said Bynum.
“The law is clear that it must go towards police or fire operations, but beyond that it would be subject to the annual budget process.”
Explaining the details of the proposal, the city’s chief financial officer, James Wagner, acknowledged that it would come at a cost. He estimated that the city would pay an additional $ 13.5 million on the Improve Our Tulsa bonds funding street and transportation projects, as the city would extend the repayment terms.
“It’s like having a 30-year mortgage versus a 15-year mortgage,” Wagner said. “You’re going to have to pay a little more interest.”
But at the same time, he said, extending repayment terms would reduce the city’s annual bond payment for investment projects, freeing up room for the $ 17 million for the district of public safety without having to increase the mileage rate.
A mill for a $ 150,000 house costs about $ 15, Wagner said, meaning that five mills for a $ 150,000 house would equal about $ 75 per year.
Wagner said the proposed district public safety plan would not necessarily limit the city’s ability to issue bonds for future capital projects, noting that the city is repaying principal and interest on its bonds much faster than the previous years.