Last week we saw comments that our columns on the IFF were confusing.   Sorry, but they are and sometimes we wonder if it were not deliberate? Case in point.    Conducting research for our Sunday column, we ran across this from the Landmark in  December 2007 regarding the Public Safety Building.  

Here are the key points

  1. 15.5 million public safety building
  2. 10 million will be borrowed by the Town of Holden 
  3. the other 5 million (we know that does not equal 15.5, but bear with us) will come from the IIF

As a taxpayer, one would think that you are only borrowing 10 million, but  “The fund contained more than $1 million in July 2007”.   If the fund only has 1 million how then does it contribute 5 million towards the project???    

It is very simple.   “The IIF receives a contribution from the town’s tax levy yearly to fund large town projects.”     In other words the IIF will contribute the $1 million initially that is in the fund, but the other 4 million (or was it 4.5 million) from the IIF will be funded  annually by the tax levy.       Instead of telling the voters that 1 million down payment from the monies in the IIF and that they would have to pay back debt on 14.5 million, it was portrayed that the taxpayer would only pay back debt on 10 million.    Somehow the IIF with only a 1 million dollar balance would pay the other 5.5 million???

It gets even more confusing:

The other $5 million would come from the town’s Infrastructure Investment Fund, whose board voted unanimously Monday night to contribute that sum over 20 years, an annual contribution of $375,500. The fund contained more than $1 million in July 2007.

The past two year and for this proposed budget (well within the 20 years cited), there is nothing, never mind $375,500 contributed from the IIF towards the Public Safety Building.   If the IIF is not paying anything, then who is?   The taxpayer is, but it is not has no effect on the taxpayer since the taxpayer was the one funding the IIF anyhow.   See how confusing this gets?      

One characteristic of transparency in Government is that it should be easy for the taxpayer to understand how their monies are invested and how their good credit is pledged as credit!!      The IIF only creates confusion, not transparency and this is another reason why we supported the motion by Tim Ethier Monday, which lost, to place elimination of  the IIF as an Article for Town Meeting.  

More to come on Sunday. .