More on Caroline County’s debt: Well, actually Mr. Chairman…

Floyd Thomas at the October 14, 2008, Board of Supervisors meeting (side question: Why does it take the county eight business days to post the Board video?):

First, several of the jurisdictions surrounding Caroline County — Hanover, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties, for example — have populations, and corresponding tax bases, that are four to five times higher than Caroline.

Second, Caroline County’s current debt is $58,366,658 (that’s just principal) with a projected debt service of $92,630,740 (that would the total payment for the principal and interest). The current proposal is to borrow more money, which would mean the county would owe $68,557,505 in principal, with a total debt service of $108,621,556.

Third, Caroline County’s $58 million of debt and King George County’s $64 million, Orange County’s $53 million, Powhatan County’s $84 million, and Warren County’s $100 million of debt — and their ability to handle the debt — are completely different.

King George County is the only one of those named counties that has a lower population and a lower tax base than Caroline County.

As for the others:

For 2007, the United States Census Bureau provided the following population estimates:

  • Caroline County: 27,282
  • Orange County: 32,492 (19% more than Caroline)
  • Powhatan County: 27,817 (2% more than Caroline)
  • Warren County: 36,294 (33% more than Caroline)

In 2005, according to the 2008-2010 Composite Index (PDF), the counties had the following assessed true value of property (a measure of total property values in the county):

  • Caroline County: $3,397,577,423
  • Orange County: $4,339,437,441 (28% more than Caroline)
  • Powhatan County: $3,013,552,182 (11% less than Caroline)
  • Warren County: $4,890,626,882 (44% more than Caroline)

Also in 2005 (Ibid), the counties had the following adjusted gross income in the county:

  • Caroline County: $511,932,206
  • Orange County: $735,062,134 (44% more than Caroline)
  • Powhatan County: $684,856,006 (34% more than Caroline)
  • Warren County: $800,320,331 (56% more than Caroline)

Again, in 2005 (Ibid), the counties had the following taxable retail sales:

  • Caroline County: $94,767,567
  • Orange County: $183,939,921 (94% more than Caroline)
  • Powhatan County: $119,543,492 (26% more than Caroline)
  • Warren County: $224,505,469 (137% more than Caroline)

I think those counties are a heck of a lot more able to handle their debt than Caroline County…

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