What distinguishes General Obligation (GO) bonds from other types of bonds?

Under State law, counties are required to secure voter approval through a referendum before issuing GO bonds. Cities do not have this requirement. Because the County has a GO credit rating of AAA from two rating agencies, the County generally may obtain lower interest rates on GO bonds than on other bonds. Lower interest rates are beneficial to taxpayers.  Moreover, the issuers of other types of commercial bonds also charge administrative fees that are higher than the administrative costs incurred in issuing General Obligation bonds.

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1. What will I be voting on November 2?
2. Why a referendum?
3. What are bonds? How do they work? Do we have to pay them back?
4. What types of bonds are used by the County?
5. What distinguishes General Obligation (GO) bonds from other types of bonds?
6. Will the bonds be issued all at once?
7. What is the timeframe for the issuance of the bonds?
8. If a bond referendum fails, does that mean the proposed projects will not be done?
9. What happens if the referendum doesn’t pass?
10. If the Board can use other financing options, why have a referendum at all?
11. If the bond referendum passes, does that guarantee that the bonds will be issued and the projects will be done?
12. Can the money from the bonds be used for other purposes?
13. What happens if one bond question passes and the other one doesn’t?
14. If the County issues these General Obligation bonds for the identified projects, how will it fund other capital projects in the Capital Improvement Program?