Bond FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about how bonds are selected, how they work and how they affect the community. 

Why are bond projects important to the community?

The Charlotte that we enjoy today is due to the investments we made in the past. The city we will enjoy in the future will come from investment we make today. Meeting Charlotte's infrastructure needs is vital to our region's health and sustaining our reputation as a great place to live, work and play.

If the bond is approved, will my taxes go up?

No. The financing costs for these bonds are included in the current city budget. No additional property tax increase will be required to pay for these bonds.

How are bond projects scheduled?

Bond projects are selected using a three-step process

  1. Projects originate from many sources including City Council Strategic Priorities, Adopted Action Plans and Master Plans, resident requests, community engagement and staff analysis.

  2. City staff prioritize and recommend projects to Council for inclusion in the bond package. Their recommendations are based on feasibility and cost effectiveness.

  3. City Council reviews the list, often making additions or deletions, and approves a final list of projects for inclusion into bond package(s) to be placed on the ballot.

How is the public notified about bond project construction?

After a contract is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, residents in the vicinity of the construction site are notified when construction is expected to begin and end. For large projects, the city will often develop materials such as a project website, postcards and newsletters to distribute. The project team may also hold public meetings and work with the local news media to keep the public informed.

How does the City work with residents and businesses that will be affected by the construction?

Here are some of the ways:

  • At the initial public meeting, the city asks residents and business owners what issues should be addressed as the plan is developed for the project.

  • The preliminary design is presented and discussed at future public meetings.

  • The final design includes details of the project including the impact on the environment, motorists, transit, homes and businesses.

  • Once construction is underway, a city inspector will either remain on-site full time or make daily visits to the project.

  • Work of multiple agencies, such as Charlotte Water, Storm Water and General Services are coordinated to minimize the impact of disruption on the community.

Why does the City issue bonds?

The city's capital needs exceed the ability to fund these projects on a "pay as you go basis." Bonds allow the city to pay for projects over a longer period of time. Typically the city asks voters to authorize bonds for major projects or a package of several similar projects.

What is a General Obligation (GA) bond?

A General Obligation bond is a financing tool similar to a home mortgage that the city uses to finance large capital projects over a 20-year period.

What kind of credit rating does the City of Charlotte have?

The city's credit rating is "AAA," the highest rating a city can receive from national rating agencies. This makes bonds a low-risk investment for lenders and also provides the city with a low interest rate.

What kinds of projects make up a bond package?

Projects are selected from the city's capital budget or Capital Investment Plan. These plans include investments in neighborhoods, housing and roads.


If and when a bond package is approved, when will construction of the bond project begin?

Voter approval of the bond packages only authorizes funding for the project. There are several crucial steps that must occur before construction:

  • Planning

  • Project design (which includes public input)

  • Real estate acquisition

  • Solicitation of construction bids

Depending on the project, this process may take several months or several years to complete. 

Learn more about project phases.

What happens if the bonds are not approved by voters?

If an assessment determines that certain infrastructure needs that would be fulfilled by a project are too important, City Council may fund projects through other sources. However, if funding is not available, the projects are held for inclusion into future bond packages.