Retired attorney Sidney Bach and former Asheville vice mayor have filed a motion to amend the lawsuit they brought against the city of Asheville over its general obligation bond program in January. According to the new filing, the city’s plan to charge property owners taxes to cover principal and interest on the $74 million bonds approved by city voters in 2016 is illegal, since the city hasn’t yet issued the bonds.
At its May 9 meeting, Asheville City Council grappled with the challenge of creating a city budget in a time of plenty. “Oddly,” said Mayor Esther Manheimer, this year’s budgeting process has been more difficult than during the recession. Council asked City Manager Gary Jackson to tweak his proposal to achieve a property tax rate that reflects a revenue-neutral rate plus 3.5 cents to pay for interest on the city’s $74 million bond program.
City Council is unified in its support for a $74 million bond referendum, which will be put to the voters on November’s general election ballot.