Arkansas Business reports that Heifer International will seek approval from the Little Rock City Board tonight for establishment of a city bonding agency that would allow the charity to issue up to $20 million in tax-free bonds to pay for a new building and refinance debt on its existing headquarters. Fund-raising for the new project is apparently lagging.
At Heifer’s request, I note for the record that such bond issues don’t use tax money or require an obligation of public money. By using the city’s bonding authority, the bonds can qualify as tax-free. This produces 1) a lower interest rate on the bonds 2) and tax-free income for investors, essentially a public subsidy of the project.