48-806. Bond election; issuance and sale of bonds; security
A. Except for a district formed pursuant to section 48-851, the district board or the elected chief and secretary-treasurer may order an election by the qualified electors of the district to be held pursuant to title 16, chapter 2, article 1 to determine whether bonds shall be issued on behalf of the district. The order shall specify the maximum principal amount of bonds to be issued, the maximum number of years bonds of any issue or series may run from their date not exceeding thirty years, the purpose for which the bonds are to be issued, the maximum rate of interest that the bonds are to bear, the date and hours of the election and the location of the polling places. Copies of the order shall be posted in three public places within the district not less than twenty days before the date of the election, and if a newspaper is published within the county having a general circulation within the district, the order shall be published in the newspaper not less than once a week during each of the three calendar weeks preceding the calendar week of the election.
B. A district board formed pursuant to section 48-851 shall not order an election for or issue bonds under this section.
C. Instead of publishing the notice described in subsection A of this section, the board of directors may mail a notice of election to each household containing a qualified elector of the district. The notice shall contain the same information described in subsection A of this section except that the notice shall not contain the location of all the polling places for that election. The notice shall contain the location of the polling place for that household's qualified electors. The notice shall be mailed at least thirty-five days before the election.
D. At the election the ballot shall contain the phrases "for the bonds" and "against the bonds". There shall be placed a square or other designated marking space in the same manner as used for candidates on ballots. The voter shall indicate a vote "for the bonds" or "against the bonds". No other question, word or figure need be printed on the ballot. The ballot need not be any particular size, nor need sample ballots be printed, posted or distributed but ballots shall comply with standards otherwise provided by law, including requirements for electronic voting, if applicable.
E. If a majority of the qualified electors of the district voting at the election approves the issuance of bonds, the district board or the elected chief and secretary-treasurer, as appropriate, may issue bonds in an aggregate principal amount not exceeding the lesser of six percent of the value of the taxable property in the district as shown on the last property tax assessment roll before issuing the bonds or the maximum amount specified in the election order.
F. Bonds may be in such denominations, may be in registered or bearer form either as to principal or interest, or both, may mature at such times not exceeding the maximum maturity specified in the election order and may be subject to redemption before maturity, all as specified by the district board or elected chief and secretary-treasurer, as appropriate, as provided in subsection E of this section. The district may engage the services of a depository to administer a book entry system for the bonds. The costs and expenses of such depository and any registrar or paying agent for the bonds shall be deemed to be interest expenses that may also be paid from the tax levy made pursuant to subsection I or J of this section.
G. Bonds shall be executed by the manual or facsimile signatures of the chairperson and clerk of the district board or elected chief and secretary-treasurer of the district. Coupons attached to the bonds shall bear the facsimile signature of the chairperson of the district board or the elected chief of the district, as appropriate.
H. The district board may sell the bonds at public or private sale or through an online bidding process. In addition, the district board may negotiate loan agreements or loan repayment agreements with the greater Arizona development authority in lieu of selling bonds where authority to sell bonds has been granted by the district's voters. The proceeds of sale on the bonds shall be deposited in an account of the fire district fund to be known as the capital fund to be applied for the purpose for which the bonds were issued.
I. After the bonds are issued, the district board or elected chief and secretary-treasurer, as appropriate, shall enter on the district's minutes a record of the bonds sold and shall annually determine the amount of the tax levy to pay the bonds and certify such amount to the board of supervisors of the county. The board of supervisors shall annually cause to be levied and collected a tax, at the same time and in the same manner as other taxes are levied and collected on all taxable property in the district, sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds as they become due and payable. Monies derived from the levy of the tax when collected shall be deposited in the debt service fund and shall be applied only to payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds. On payment of the outstanding bonded indebtedness of the district, any monies remaining in the debt service fund shall be used to reduce the district's property tax levy in the next fiscal year. Amounts levied for debt service on bonds issued pursuant to this section payable from the secondary tax are and shall be considered special revenues of the district, shall be kept in a special, segregated fund, are not and shall not be general property taxes and may not be used for any other purpose of the district.
J. If a district with outstanding bonded indebtedness is merged pursuant to section 48-820 or consolidated pursuant to section 48-823, the indebtedness shall not be assumed by all of the resulting district and shall be deemed an ongoing indebtedness of only that portion of the resulting district that originally approved the bonds for the purposes of subsection E of this section. In order to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds as they become due and payable, the board of supervisors shall annually cause to be levied and collected a tax on the taxable property of only that portion of the resulting district that approved the bonds as determined on the date of the merger or consolidation of the district, and may not levy taxes on the remainder of the taxable property of the newly merged or consolidated district.
K. All bonds, heretofore and hereafter issued, are secured by a lien on all revenues received pursuant to the tax levy made pursuant to subsection I or J of this section. The lien arises automatically without the need for any action or authorization by the district or the district's governing board. The lien is valid and binding from the time of the issuance of the bonds. The revenues received pursuant to the levy of the tax made pursuant to subsection I or J of this section are immediately subject to the lien. The lien attaches immediately to the revenues and is effective, binding and enforceable against the district, the district's successors, transferees and creditors and all other parties asserting rights in the revenues, irrespective of whether the parties have notice of the lien, without the need for any physical delivery, recordation, filing or further act.