Denton city officials are asking voters to approve eight bond propositions on the November ballot, totaling $309 million.
Projects the city wants local property taxpayers to finance include streets, drainage, parks, public safety, affordable housing, a new active adult center, a new South Branch Library, and City Hall West renovations.
With interest, the proposed bonds would cost Denton property taxpayers significantly more than the dollar amounts shown on the ballot.
Local taxpayers already owe $435 million in previously approved bond debt principal and interest.
All borrowed bond principal and interest must be repaid using local property taxes.
Denton voters will see eight separate bond propositions on the ballot.
Buried within four of the propositions are carve-outs totaling $3 million for “public art.”
Proposition A: $45.1 million for streets.
Proposition B: $58.9 million for drainage and flood control.
Proposition C: $33.5 million for the city park system.
Proposition D: $42 million for public safety (rebuilding two fire stations, expanding an animal shelter), with up to $823,000 of the amount for public art.
Proposition E: $15 million for affordable housing.
Proposition F: $47.3 million for a new active adult center, with up to $930,000 for public art.
Proposition G: $49.5 million for a new South Branch Library, with up to $969,000 for public art.
Proposition H: $18.2 million for City Hall West renovations, with up to $358,000 for public art.
Denton’s bond website notes that “potential projects” detailed on the ballot “represent the program the City Council intends to undertake to accomplish the intent of the approved bond propositions; however, projects may change. In that event, the Council may direct proceeds be expended for other projects within the voter-authorized purposes of each proposition.”
When voters approve bond propositions, they also authorize the city to collect whatever amount of property taxes are required to repay the bond debt, with interest. Whether or not the tax rate changes when a bond first passes, the local tax liability increases; thus, every bond is a property tax increase.
City officials say they expect the property tax rate to increase about 5.7 cents per $100 of valuation if the bonds are approved. Property owners’ tax bills will increase even more as property values increase.
Denton is among dozens of local governments asking voters to approve bonds, tax rate increases, or both.
All Texans’ ballots will also include 14 proposed amendments to the state constitution.
Early voting runs through November 3. Election Day is Tuesday, November 7.
A list of voting locations and hours can be found on the Denton County Elections website.