How it works
Public banks are lot like like regular banks, except we keep the profits, because they’re owned by us. They’re not allowed to take on risky investment or pay their executives giant bonuses. Public banks can help us create the community we want by:
- Providing needed loan funds for the City during an economic downturn.
- Being a partner bank for credit unions.
- Financing critical public goods like infrastructure, schools, public housing, or renewable energy–at 1% or 2% interest.
- Helping to create land-trusted permanently affordable homes in exchange for unbeatable low-interest refinancing.
- Providing low-interest loans for small businesses and startups through partnerships with community banks.
Not only do the profits go back to the community, but public banks aren’t run by politicians, they’re run independently by professionals with a mandate to work in the public interest.
Did you know?
100 years ago a group of concerned farmers in North Dakota organized a grassroots campaign and got the state to charter the first state public bank in American history. To this day, it’s the only bank of its kind in existence, and since then, it has transferred over $1 billion back to the state’s general fund. It has helped families get affordable mortgages, refinance student loans, and even allowed local governments to provide millions in disaster relief. Today, it has $7 billion in assets, all owned by the people of North Dakota!
How a public bank benefits you
- By saving millions in property taxes on the new high school and Law and Justice Center, while the long-term interest goes back to us, instead of the bond holders.
- For $5/month in bonds for the average taxpayer (the cost of the Parks and Open Space Bond), the bank could make $90 million in low-interest loans!
- The City could build or buy out existing housing for public housing, saving thousands by cutting out middlemen and high finance costs, and providing permanently affordable housing for those who need it.
- Reducing costs for major infrastructure projects like the Kagy expansion by using public funds instead of private sector bonds.
- By providing much-needed financial services to under-banked and unbanked residents.