What is a school bond?
A school bond is placed on the election ballot by a public school district to finance capital projects. Bond issues must be approved by the voters within the school district.
A school bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money over time with a fixed, tax-exempt interest rate. School districts use bond proceeds for large capital improvements that are outside of what can be incurred within a district’s annual budget. Almost all school districts in Missouri utilize bonds to finance new facilities and major renovation projects. Every dollar raised from a school bond is assigned for capital improvements only.
When is the bond election?
The election will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
What is the total amount of the proposal?
A bond of $13.5 million is proposed.
What is included in the proposal?
If passed on April 7, 2020, the no-tax increase bond will provide for the following: safety enhancements at each school building, improved environments through HVAC system and roofing upgrades, ADA accessibility, performing arts center updates at the middle school and high school, inclusive play structures at each elementary school, resurfacing and repairing of high school track, paying off existing lease purchases, and additional capital improvements throughout the district.
How was the bond project list developed?
Building administrators, directors, and department heads were asked to identify the top three projects they felt were critical at each of their sites. The Board of Education ranked each of these projects on priority to develop the current list. We are working with architects to determine how many projects we can complete with this funding.
What will the cost be for individual tax-payers?
The bond issue will require no increases to taxes. The school district’s total tax levy, including debt service, will remain unchanged at $4.4251 per one hundred dollars assessed valuation of real estate and personal property.
How is it possible to issue bonds without a tax increase?
This is a result of paying off some existing debt and refinancing the remainder for better rates. Because of these actions, we have room in our debt service levy to issue bonds to cover the cost of the proposed projects with no increase to the tax rate.
Will my taxes go down if this does not pass?
No. The district would continue to pay out the current bonds in the same way that has been in place for the past 10 years. The district may choose to refinance the bonds and keep the payment the same, reducing the number of years left to pay off the bonds.
What would happen if this does not pass?
Some maintenance and repair work would have to be deferred, and some projects would be postponed indefinitely. The most critical maintenance and repair needs would still have to be addressed. To pay for this, money would have to be spent from the day-to-day operating budget (the part that normally pays for classroom instruction, teachers, staff and supplies).
What is the actual language on the ballot?
Will all students benefit?
Yes. The projects listed above benefit students in all buildings.
What if I don't have children or students in your school system?
If you have ever had children in school, or were a public school student yourself, people before you helped to fund the schools you and/or your child(ren) attended. Similarly, current North County R-I residents help pay for the schools we have now and improvements in the future throughout the time they live here. As new residents move into the district's attendance area, they assume these taxes as well. Regardless of where you live in Missouri, your property taxes will help fund schools in that area. School facilities are a hub of North County and are often open to all residents for academics, fine arts programs, athletic events, community meetings and other events that bring the entire community together.
Also, an educated community is a thriving community. Great schools increase property values, and safe schools help ensure safe communities. Young people are our future workforce, homeowners and taxpayers. Their education prepares them for that next step into adulthood, and the stronger their foundation, the better their outcomes.
Will this bond help with teacher salaries?
By law, bond dollars can only be spent on "bricks and mortar" projects. However, funds for teacher salaries currently come from the same resources used to maintain aging facilities. By the passage of the bond, the district could free up funds for teacher salaries.