While the projections show the visitor taxes and fees are sufficient to finance the project, about two-thirds of the bonds — which would come in two series and have a combined par value of about $630 million — would be secured by the city’s general fund. David Levy of investment bankers Goldman Sachs said the pledge is necessary to improve the bond ratings and attract investors.
“I have to pick up the phone and sell this,” Levy said. “In order to do that I need something that’s conventional and easy to understand.”
Councilwoman Emily Evans, however, said the general fund commitment breaks promises that the new conventional hall would be paid for exclusively by tourists.
“This financing puts the Davidson County taxpayers at risk,” Evans said after the meeting. “They’re relying on projections that may or may not be accurate. They have to put the taxpayers on the hook. That is not what the public was sold.”
As such, Evans said Metro government needs to go back to the citizens and ask if they believe a general fund pledge acceptable.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Council Member responds to Goldman Sachs' claim on the Metro budget by underscoring mayoral promises broken
CM Emily Evans took it to Goldman Sachs last night, thus reminding us that the Metro Charter established the Metro Council to be more than just a rubber stamp for the Mayor's capital projects. Otherwise, accountability seems against Metro Council's grain lately: