On November 3rd, 2015 the Town of Chapel Hill, NC passed a bond referendum that appropriated $5.2 million for solid waste facilities and $5.9 million for stormwater improvements. Both were General Obligation (GO) bonds where the town pledged its full faith and credit via taxing authority to repay the debt over a specified term. General obligation bonds are regarded as “safer” than bonds backed by a single revenue source, and generally command lower interest rates and lower reserve fund requirements. A bond is a written promise to repay borrowed money on a defined schedule, usually at a fixed rate of interest, for the life of the bond. Bonds represent a large source of capital, but can be a complex and more expensive way to borrow. The high expense results from the legal and other fees and administrative time required for issuing bonds.

Continue reading