2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 36 - LOCAL GOVERNMENT
PROVISIONS - PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO COUNTIES, MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS, AND OTHER GOVERNMENTAL ENTITIES
CHAPTER 82 - BONDS
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 36-82-1 - Election for bonded debt; date of election in unincorporated areas of certain counties; right to sell bonds at discount; advertisements as binding statements of intention; use of surpluses; meetings open to public; refunding

O.C.G.A. 36-82-1 (2010)
36-82-1. Election for bonded debt; date of election in unincorporated areas of certain counties; right to sell bonds at discount; advertisements as binding statements of intention; use of surpluses; meetings open to public; refunding


(a) When any county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision desires to incur any bonded debt, as permitted by the Constitution of Georgia, the election required shall be called and held in accordance with this Code section and Code Sections 36-82-2 through 36-82-4.

(b) The officers charged with levying taxes, contracting debts, and the like for the county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision shall give notice for not less than 30 days immediately preceding the day of the election in the newspaper in which sheriff's advertisements for the county are published, notifying the qualified voters that on the day named an election will be held to determine the question of whether bonds shall be issued by the county, municipal corporation, or political subdivision. The notice shall specify the principal amount of the bonds to be issued, the purpose for which the bonds are issued, the interest rate or rates which such bonds are to bear, and the amount of principal to be paid in each year during the life of the bonds. The notice, in the discretion of the issuing body, in lieu of specifying the rate or rates of interest which the bonds are to bear, may state that the bonds, when issued, will bear interest at a rate not exceeding a maximum per annum rate of interest specified in the election notice or, in the event the bonds are to bear different rates of interest for different maturity dates, that none of such rates will exceed the maximum rate specified in the election notice.

(b.1) In all counties of this state having a population of 800,000 or more according to the United States decennial census of 2000 or any future such census, no county-wide bond election or school bond election in the unincorporated area of any such county shall be held on any date other than the date of the November general election; provided, however, that upon a determination by any superior court of competent jurisdiction that the holding of such election on the date of the November general election would cause irreparable harm to the electors of any such county, such election shall be held in the manner provided for in subsection (b) of this Code section.

(c) Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed as prohibiting or restricting the right of the issuing body to sell bonds at a discount, even if in so doing the effective interest cost resulting therefrom would exceed the maximum per annum interest rate specified in the election notice.

(d) Every legal advertisement of a bond election shall contain a reference that any brochures, listings, or other advertisements issued by the governing body of any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state or by any other person, firm, corporation, or association with the knowledge and consent of the governing body of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state shall be deemed to be a statement of intention of the governing body of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state concerning the use of the bond funds; and such statement of intention shall be binding on the governing body of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state in the expenditure of any such bond funds or interest received from such bond funds which have been invested, unless the governing body of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state uses such bond funds for the retirement of bonded indebtedness, in the manner provided for in this Code section; and such statement of intention shall be set forth in the resolution pursuant to which such bonds are issued. Bond funds and interest received from such bond funds which have been invested shall be expended in the manner in which advertised and for the purpose stated in such statement of intention. The governing body of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state may, by a two-thirds' vote, declare any project which has been established pursuant to any such statement of intention to be unnecessary. In that event, the governing body of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state shall use such bond funds for the payment of all or any part of the principal and interest on any bonded indebtedness of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state then outstanding. Surpluses from the overestimated projects, including interest received on bond funds of such projects, shall be used first to complete underestimated projects and all remaining funds received from interest and overestimated projects shall be used for other projects or improvements which the governing body of such county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state may deem necessary and which are encompassed within the language of the statement of purpose in the election notice. Any meetings of any governing bodies at which any bond fund allocation is made shall be open to the public. Such meetings shall be announced to the news media in advance and shall be open to the news media.
(e)(1) It is expressly provided that any county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state may provide for the refunding of all or any part of the outstanding bonded indebtedness of such county, municipality, or political subdivision without the necessity of a referendum therefor if the governing authority of such county, municipality, or political subdivision adopts a resolution or ordinance authorizing the issuance of general obligation refunding bonds for such purpose, provided the following conditions are met:

(A) The term of the refunding bonds shall not extend beyond the final maturity date of the bonds being refunded;

(B) The rate of interest borne by the refunding bonds shall not exceed the rate of interest borne by the bonds being refunded;

(C) The principal amount of the refunding bonds may only exceed the principal amount of the bonds being refunded to the extent necessary to effectuate a refund and to allow the reduction of the total principal and interest requirements over the remaining term of the bonds being refunded; and

(D) The proceeds derived from the sale of the refunding bonds, together with the earnings and increments derived therefrom, if any, will be sufficient to provide for the payment of the principal of, interest, and premium, if any, on the bonds being refunded and shall be deposited in an irrevocable trust fund created for that purpose.

(2) Such refunding bonds so authorized to be issued in compliance with the conditions set forth above, when issued, shall be construed and deemed to be issued in lieu of such original debt being so refunded, and the original debt upon the creation of the irrevocable trust fund and the deposit of the requisite proceeds shall not constitute a debt within the meaning of Article IX, Section V, Paragraph I of the Constitution of Georgia, but the refunding bonds shall constitute a debt within the meaning of Article IX, Section V, Paragraph I of the Constitution of Georgia and shall count against the limitation on debt measured by the 10 percent of assessed value of taxable property as expressed therein.

(f) Any person who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed so that a violation thereof shall affect the validity of any bonds issued under this Code section.

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