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AVL City Council sets hearing for bond referendum

Asheville City Council votes on Tuesday to hold a public hearing in two weeks where they will decide if a bond package will appear on the November ballot as a referendum. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Asheville City Council has voted to hold a public hearing in two weeks where they will decide if a bond package will appear on the November ballot as a referendum.

There are three bonds totaling $74 million. The bonds are broken up into three parts: housing, roads/transportation and parks and rec.

City council heard polling information showing support for the bonds.

The goal of the bonds is to make Asheville a better place to live and work. There is a chance property taxes could go up because the bonds.

The city says the most they go up would be nine dollars a month for a house valued at $275,000. Even with a tax increase, according to a pollster, about 50 percent of likely voters would still be more likely to approve the referendum.

Only two people showed up to speak at city council on Monday. They were against a tax increase.

"We've heard a lot about affordable housing, and although that is a very laudable undertaking, we've heard nothing about affordable financing," Sidney Bach, of Asheville, said. Mayor Esther Manheimer claimed that wasn't true.

Councilman Gordon Smith said the polls reaffirm the city council's priorities.

"Should these bonds pass in November, we're going to get a lot more done a lot faster than we would've otherwise," Smith said.

Manheimer said the city is in excellent financial shape, and that's why the city can propose these bonds.



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