I fully support the hopeful creation of a Winnebago County Public Bank.
Across our nation, municipal, county and state governments struggle year after year to balance their budgets, using the same old tools to meet this challenge: raise taxes, take on more debt, cut vital services, lay off or ask for employee givebacks. Almost always these choices subtract from local prosperity. History shows that a public bank would add to our prosperity. The historical model I speak of is the over 100 year old public Bank of North Dakota. As a result, North Dakota has been the only state in America which has run in the black every single year since the state bank went into effect in 1920.
Annual returns of substantial profits to the general fund as non-tax revenue can refinance existing county debt at near zero interest rates and reduce the debt service for which we are taxed. Instead of expensive bond issues or property tax increases, a public bank can provide low cost loans to our school districts and other local governments for critically needed infrastructure and jobs creation. And we keep the interest paid on those loans right here in our own bank at much lower costs, safe from the risk taking of the mega banks on Wall Street.
Like the Bank of North Dakota, a public bank of Winnebago County can partner with and strengthen our local banks and credit unions to get affordable credit to small businesses, home buyers and even students. Once established, a public banks does not depend on annual taxpayer funding. It would be self sustaining. I’ve discovered more than a few municipal, county and state leaders across America are investigating how best to establish their own public banks, and take back control of their own money and future. Winnebago County needs to join this forward looking movement, and I look forward to being a part in getting this done for the good people of Winnebago County.
Perhaps its time for our county to take Wall Street out of the equation? An absolutely great resource for more specific details to what I’m talking about can be found HERE