The Details of Question 4

Question 4 on the state ballot: Bond for construction and remodeling of University of Maine System facilities

Mon, 10/15/2018 - 12:00pm

Maine voters will see several proposals on their state ballot Nov. 6, including four bond issues and a citizens’ initiative.

One of those bond issues, appearing as Question 4 on the statewide ballot, would provide $49 million, matched by at least $49 million in private and public funds, “to modernize and improve  the facilities and infrastructure of Maine's public universities in order to expand workforce development capacity and to attract and retain students to strengthen Maine's economy and future workforce.” 

According to the Maine Office of the Treasurer, “the total estimated life time cost is $62,475,000 representing $49,000,000 in principal and $13,475,000 in interest (assuming interest at 5.0 percent over 10 years).” Furthermore, the Maine Office of Fiscal and Program Review notes this bond issue would have “no significant fiscal impact” aside from the debt service costs outlined.

According to the Maine Office of the Attorney General, the bonds would run for not longer than 10 years from date of issue and “would be backed by the full faith and credit of the State.” 

$49,000,000: This amount would be expended by the University of Maine System “to support the construction, reconstruction and remodeling of existing and new facilities and infrastructure as approved by the Board of Trustees. The purpose of the bond funding is to expand the University of Maine System’s capacity to develop Maine’s workforce and enhance its ability to attract and retain students.

The projects currently approved by the Board of Trustees are located at all seven campuses in the University of Maine System and include renovations and improvements to dormitories, modernization and expansion of laboratories and classrooms for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs, nursing and child care programs, as well as development of career service centers, and other facilities to support first-generation and nontraditional students.”

Furthermore, the Office notes the bond proceeds would “have to be matched by an equal amount of funding from other private and public sources.” 

A YES vote approves the issuance of up to $49 million in general obligation bonds to finance the activities listed in Question 4, and approved by the University of Maine System’s Board of Trustees. 

A NO vote disapproves the bond issue in its entirety.

 

Maine State Treasurer’s Statement

“The State of Maine borrows money by issuing bonds. General Obligation bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the State and must be submitted statewide to the voters for approval.

“Once approved, the Treasurer issues bonds as needed to fund the approved bond projects and uses a rapid 10-year repayment of principal strategy to retire the debt.

“If the bond proposals on the ballot in November 2018 are approved by the voters, general obligation debt service as a percentage of the State’s General Fund, Highway Fund and Revenue Sharing appropriations is expected to be 2.83 percent in FY19 and 2.93 percent in FY20.

The following is a summary of general obligation bond debt of the State of Maine as of September 30, 2018.

Bonds Outstanding (Issued and Maturing through 2028)

 

 

 

Principal

Interest

Total

Highway Fund

$ 22,320,000

$ 1,405,708

$ 23,725,708

General Fund

$ 465,050,000

$ 95,662,182

$ 560,712,182

Total

$ 487,370,000

$ 97,067,890

$ 584,437,890

Unissued Bonds Authorized by Voters: $64,708,697

Unissued Bonds Authorized by the Constitution:  $101,000,000

Total Authorized but Unissued Bonds: $165,708,697

The total amount that must be paid in the present fiscal year for bonded debt already outstanding (for FY2019): $106,258,509.

If the bonds submitted here are approved by voters and issued for the full statutory period authorized, an estimate of the total interest and principal that may reasonably be expected to be paid is $255,000,000.00, representing $ 200,000,000.00 in principal and $55,000,000.00 in interest

 

2018 Maine State Ballot questions

Question 1: Citizen’s Initiative
Do you want to create the Universal Home Care Program to provide home-based assistance to people with disabilities and senior citizens, regardless of income, funded by a new 3.8% tax on individuals and families with Maine wage and adjusted gross income above the amount subject to Social Security taxes, which is $128,400 in 2018?

Question 2
Do you favor a $30,000,000 bond issue to improve water quality, support the planning and construction of wastewater treatment facilities and assist homeowners whose homes are served by substandard or malfunctioning wastewater treatment systems?

Question 3
Do you favor a $106,000,000 bond issue, including $101,000,000 for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities and equipment related to ports, piers, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and $5,000,000 for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings?

Question 4
Do you favor a $49,000,000 bond issue to be matched by at least $49,000,000 in private and public funds to modernize and improve the facilities and infrastructure of Maine's public universities in order to expand workforce development capacity and to attract and retain students to strengthen Maine's economy and future workforce?

Question 5
Do you favor a $15,000,000 bond issue to improve educational programs by upgrading facilities at all 7 of Maine's community colleges in order to provide Maine people with access to high-skill, low-cost technical and career education?