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Bond plan outlined by BISD

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2011 3:26 pm

While Boerne Independent School District officials await U.S. Department of Justice approval to hold their $87.75 million bond election Nov. 8, they will outline the plan to school and civic groups through the end of October.

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  • commoncents posted at 10:40 am on Thu, Sep 29, 2011.

    commoncents Posts: 85

    BP: Thanks for the figures. I do understand that Robin Hood is playing a big part in this. I would like to see more on that student growth number- given the slowdown in our growth, that sounds high. I don't think, over a longer period of time- say a ten year period, our expenditures have been proportional to our student growth- in other words, our expenditures have far outpaced our student growth.

    There are still some important questions you haven't addressed: Isn't it misleading for the pro-bond supporters to say this isn't a tax hike when in reality, we are due for our taxes to return to a lower level with the retirement of the current bond debt? That is what I meant by bonds being a backdoor way for a permanent funding stream. Also, isn't it reasonable to have a discussion about whether or not taxpayer's need that break given the economy? The timing is important.
    I'd just like to see the paper cover something besides this side of the question.

  • Boerne Proud posted at 1:15 am on Tue, Sep 27, 2011.

    Boerne Proud Posts: 12

    Some good questions - will try to answer as I know best:
    Almost 20% of taxes raised by general fund goes to Robin Hood. As this $ amount has increased to $10.5 million out of about $60 million raised, the day to day budget has had to be reduced - most of the budget goes to staff salaries/benefits, leaving less $ for technology or bus purchases. The staff has been reduced by 75 people over the past 3 years while there are about 500 more students, and other across the board reductions have been made. It is actually cheaper to buy computers/buses with a short term bond than it is to increase the general fund tax rate, of which an increasing % would have to be sent to Austin via Robin Hood. To realize the $5 million in technology the bond calls for, we would have to raise the general fund taxes by at least $6.25 million to factor what we have to send to the state. By purchasing this equipment at 4% (or less) over 5 years out total costs of principal and interest is $5.525 million, or $750k less. This may seem odd, but it is true. So it makes sense to replace computers, many of which are 10 years old, with short term bond taxes, where we don't have to share anything with Austin. Same principle for buses.

  • commoncents posted at 1:58 pm on Sun, Sep 25, 2011.

    commoncents Posts: 85

    I'd also like to see why the current facilities budget is not covering expenses such as buses, etc. There's quite a bit of money in the bank for that already, how well has it been managed? Who is behind the signs cropping up pro-bond? Is that a PAC? The difficulty for taxpayers in these bond issues is that BISD is about the largest employer in the county. That means when it comes time for a vote on anything, they can rally quite a voting block to support their interests. That's not to imply that it isn't in the interests of our kids either, just can feel lopsided for those who maybe don't believe their kids need us to take on more debt right now.

  • Mister B posted at 9:13 am on Sun, Sep 25, 2011.

    Mister B Posts: 65

    Once again - more than $80 MILLION in bond DEBT is just that, DEBY, a taxpayer DEBT. It therefore is a de facto TAX. So to say that there will be no tax increase is doublespeak. Retiring bond debt is being replaced by NEW DEBT. So it is a CONTINUATION OF A TAX INCREASE. If that is for essential school needs, fine, but if not, in this economy, it should be pared back. There has been NO critical coverage of this bond proposal. There needs to be line by line publication of what is to be spent and WHY as well as why the existing facilities etc cannot be used as is or upgraded without the need for over $80 million dollars in new spending, which comes out of the pockets of property owners. In the current debate over education, it is clear that it is NOT buildings that educate children, but parents and teachers.

  • commoncents posted at 1:16 pm on Sat, Sep 24, 2011.

    commoncents Posts: 85

    It would also be nice to see some coverage of the broader community discussion on this- not just the Board's and Facility staff's input. I've heard there is a PAC forming to get more information out about the numbers. If I recall correctly, aren't we due for a tax break from BISD, since we are still paying off a previous bond?
    Is it accurate to say it's not raising our taxes when in fact, if we allowed the current bond to be retired, we would see a return to the actual tax base? If so, whoever said that the danger in approving bonds is that we simply get used to paying that money out and then the government makes it a permanent source of income, is right. I'm not opposed to some monies being committed- but at a time like this with the economy like it is- is this the right amount or timing? I'd just like for the paper to cover all of the community's input so we can be better informed- rather than the whole front page seeming like a promotional ad for the bond.

  • Gunner1 posted at 4:00 pm on Fri, Sep 23, 2011.

    Gunner1 Posts: 7

    It would be nice to see some more detail!