Many will assume this: 2006 SPLOST, big recession hit in 2008, sales-tax collection and local retailing economy sank like rock. Hence, shortfall. That would be wrong.
As explained in this very blog two years ago the problem comes from plunging interest rates on deposited proceeds, not a “loss of business.” Local government typically jump-starts such projects by taking out loans on the guarantee of the voters having agreed to tax themselves. In the 2006 instance those loans were taken out at interest rates that proved higher after the financial sector tanked than what could be earned in interest on the tax money coming in.
That was a “surprise” whereas those conditions were understood when the 2009 SPLOST (for the emergency radio system, etc.) was approved. That one, at last report, was running comfortably in the black.
By the way, Rome (and Cave Spring) have to come up with the rest of that “lost” 2006 money. No problem, for Rome at least. As pointed out two years ago:
“Apparently Rome is the lucky one as it’s still got an unused $2 million local share for widening the Turner McCall Boulevard bridge on the books unspent because of the state being so broke it couldn’t met its end of the bargain. It’s an odd world when the state being broke helps keep a city in the black.”
That’s probably money more impossible to use than ever with the recent defeat of the regional TSPLOST proposal. The state isn’t going to spend anything to help untangle Turner McCall when it has all of Atlanta’s snarl to worry about.
Read this blog and learn about the local news two years before it happens.