City of Columbus Proposes $1.5 Billion Bond Package to Finance Capital Improvements, Expand Affordable Housing
The City of Columbus will ask
voters to approve a $1.5 billion voted bond package this fall to finance
capital improvements in neighborhoods across the city. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther
advanced resolutions of necessity to Columbus City Council, which is the first
step in placing the issues on the November ballot. The issues will not increase
taxes for Columbus residents.
The breakdown of the proposed
bond package is as follows:
- Health, Safety & Infrastructure $300
- Recreation & Parks $200 million
- Neighborhood Development (Housing) $200
- Public Service $250 million
- Public Utilities $550 million
Building off the success of
the 2019 bond package, the city will commit $200 million from the bond package
to increase the supply of affordable housing in Columbus.
“Affordable housing is one of
the biggest challenges facing our region today,” said Mayor Ginther. “Access to
safe, affordable housing is critical to a thriving, equitable economy, and no
resident should pay more than 30% of their monthly income to live in a
neighborhood of their choice.”
In 2019, Columbus voters
approved a $50 million affordable housing bond package that leveraged more than
$300 million in public and private funding to build more than 1,300 units at a
rate faster than the market could provide. Funds from the 2019 bond package
have since been fully allocated, and additional investments are needed to keep
up with the region’s considerable population growth – a trend that is expected
to continue into the foreseeable future.
Examples of projects funded
through prior bond packages include more than $87 million over three years to
resurface more than 700 streets. Past efforts also financed police and fire
facilities and equipment, new recreation centers, parks and pools, and water
and sewer infrastructure that ensure access to safe, clean drinking water.
Columbus City Auditor Megan
Kilgore emphasized that a bond package is not a tax increase, but leverages the
city’s Triple A bond rating to say taxpayer dollars.
“A voted bond package means that the city is
asking voters to support the issuance of general obligation bonds to finance
our traditional capital improvements,” said Kilgore. “Voter approved bond
packages lower the cost of borrowing, and have saved the city tens of millions
of dollars in recent years.”
City Council President
Shannon G. Hardin said the bond provides the city with necessary funds to
strengthen neighborhoods. “A city that doesn’t invest in itself and its
neighborhoods falls behind,” said Hardin. “This bond package will keep Columbus
neighborhoods strong, moving us closer to a community where everyone has
The package will be voted on
by Columbus residents in the general election on November 8, 2022.