To the Editor:
A self- congratulatory announcement from the city arrived via e-news about the low interest rates our triple A bond rating has earned us. According to the mayor, it’s all due to good management. In actual fact, just as with an individual’s credit rating, a large part is due to calculations about the city’s ability to repay.
The rating agencies are aware of income levels and worth of taxable private property in Alexandria. An important decision point is always, “Could those taxpayers afford to pay more?” Just as wealthy people who pay their bills can borrow more at good interest rates, so can Alexandria. If congratulations are in order, they should go to those who are paying the taxes.
It is good policy to try to reduce our municipal debt as the Democratic candidate for mayor, Allison Silberberg, has advised. Money spent on interest payments, even at low rates, is not money available for other purposes, such as park land, library books, after school programs or a myriad of other non-infrastructure items that most citizens value.