LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Longview citizens are being asked to vote on a $45.6 million special bond election on May 7.

The text of the bond measure is as follows:

“The issuance of $45,600,000 of bonds by the City of Longview, Texas, for the purpose of funding all or a portion of the City’s unfunded, accrued liability to the Longview Firemen’s Relief and Retirement Fund, and levying a tax sufficient to make the payments of principal and interest thereon.”

Longview Firemen’s Relief and Retirement Fund is a pension that provides benefits to retired Longview firefighters and fire department employees. The City of Longview is financially responsible for the LFRRF.

In October 2021, a third-party firm recommended that the city consider using a $45.6 million pension obligation bond “to reduce the unfunded liabilities of the pension.”

The unfunded liability is a debt owed by the city in order to provide benefits for pension members. If approved, the bond would be used to reduce that unfunded liability.

If voters approve the bond, a 2-cent property tax increase would be required to fund it. The estimated impact of a 2-cent tax increase on the average Longview homesteaded property valued at $166,867 is $33.37 per year, according to the city.

The bond is estimated to cost $2.7 million annually.  The 2-cent tax increase covers approximately $1.1 million of the annual bond payment. The remainder of the bond payment would be paid by reallocating existing budgeted city payroll contributions and absorbing the remainder of the cost into the annual general fund budget.

For more details about the bond, click here.