Since blogger Paul Ogden first broke the wimpy wording of the referendum question itself, others, including Advance Indiana's Gary Welsh, have questioned the use of property taxes to repay the bonds on the project. There remains the key, outstanding question, also, as to whether or not the referendum question legally binds the Health & Hospital Corporation (H&H) to any particular project for any particular sum of money. To me the wording can be boiled down to: "We do good works. Shall we continue?". When I brought that up at last Saturday's McANA meeting, Matt Gutwein said that the Board would be meeting on Tuesday (now two days ago) and the wording they adopt for the project's bonds would legally tie down the referendum question. I'll leave it to the legal scholars among us to decided if the two acts - board action on some bonds and a public referendum are legally linked in any way.
Over and over and over again Gutwein tells us how there will be no property taxes used to repay the bonds floated to pay for this project.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw the legal notice of the H&H Board's decision at it's Tuesday meeting to float bonds for the New Wishard Project. The notice is reprinted below, along with a link to the IndyStar's publication of same -- I don't know if the link will give tomorrow's public notice, so please use it today if you wish.
What I learned from the notice:
1) The bonds cannot be for any more than $703,040,000, and must be repaid within 30 years.
2) The Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority will actually float the bonds and lease the facilities back to H&H.
3) "All or any portion" of the bonds may be repaid from "property taxes collected by the Health and Hospital Corporation on all taxable property within the geographical boundaries of Marion County, Indiana".
I have changed the typeface to bold for the property tax statement within the public notice and put it in the paragraph form found in the print version of the Star.
THE HEALTH AND HOSPITAL CORPORATION OF MARION COUNTY, INDIANA NOTICE OF PRELIMINARY DECISION BY THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE HEALTH AND HOSPITAL CORPORATION OF MARION COUNTY, INDIANA, TO ISSUE GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS AND TO ENTER INTO A PROPOSED LEASE OR LEASES OF FACILITIES OPERATED OR TO BE OPERATED BY THE HEALTH AND HOSPITAL CORPORATION IN CONNECTION WITH THE WISHARD HOSPITAL PROJECT
Notice is hereby given that on September 22, 2009, the Board of Trustees of The Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana (the “Health and Hospital Corporation”), did adopt a resolution making a preliminary decision: (1) that a need exists for all or any portion of the construction and equipping of a replacement hospital and related facilities for Wishard Health Services currently located at 1001 West Tenth Street (the “Wishard Complex”), together with land acquisition and site development related thereto and all projects and activities related to any of the foregoing, including, but not limited to, all or any portion of the following: (a) acquisition of land and any improvements located thereon and any site development related thereto, (b) renovation and equipping of any such buildings, and the construction and equipping of one or more buildings which will replace the existing hospital and related facilities for the Wishard Complex and provide all or any portion of (i) inpatient services, (ii) diagnostic and treatment, (iii) clinical support, (iv) non-clinical support, (v) offices and education, and (vi) public and building functions (c) construction and equipping of a new ambulatory care building, (d) construction and equipping of one or more related parking garages and/or surface lots, (e) construction and equipping of a central plant for all of the foregoing facilities, and (f) all projects related to any of the projects or facilities described in clauses (a) through and including (e) (clauses (a) through and including (f), collectively, the “Wishard Hospital project”); and (2) to the extent permitted by law, to take all of the necessary steps to finance all or a portion of the costs of all, or as much as is possibly based on the facts and circumstances at the time, of the Wishard Hospital project by: (a) entering into a proposed lease or leases (collectively, the “Lease”) between the Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority (the “Building Authority”), as lessor, and the Health and Hospital Corporation, as lessee, relating to all or any portion of the Wishard Hospital project operated or to be operated by the Health and Hospital Corporation; and (b) issuing one or more series of general obligation bonds of the Health and Hospital Corporation (the “General Obligation Bonds”). The Building Authority will issue one or more series of revenue bonds, as lessor, secured by and payable from the lease payments under the Lease (the “Revenue Bonds”).
All or any portion of the Health and Hospital Corporation’s payments of principal of and interest on the General Obligation Bonds and/or rental payments under the Lease may be payable from ad valorem property taxes collected by the Health and Hospital Corporation on all taxable property within the geographical boundaries of Marion County, Indiana. The proposed General Obligation Bonds and Revenue Bonds (collectively, the “Bonds”) shall be issued in an original aggregate principal amount not to exceed $703,040,000. The maximum term of each series of the Bonds will be 30 years, and the Bonds will bear interest at a rate or rates estimated not to exceed 6.16% per annum. Dated this 25th day of September, 2009.THE HEALTH AND HOSPITAL CORPORATION OF MARION COUNTY By: Dan Sellers, Treasurer (S - 9/25/09, 10/2/09 - 5543528) - 09/25