WHAT IS A BOND?
A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to competing lenders to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment. Most school districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities.
HOW CAN BOND FUNDS BE USED?
Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel and insurance.
WHAT IS A BOND ELECTION?
School districts are required by state law to ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors in order to raise the capital dollars required for projects such as renovation to existing buildings or building a new school. Essentially, the voters are giving permission for the District to take out a loan and pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their home. A school board calls a bond election so voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.
EXACTLY HOW MUCH IS THE DISTRICT ASKING FOR?
The Board of Trustees called a bond election in the amount of $11,075,000 million to be brought before voters on May 9, 2015.
HOW WAS THE BOND PACKAGE DEVELOPED?
The bond package was developed by the district’s Citizens’ Bond Steering Committee. The recommendation is based upon the Committee’s previous collaboration with the district in developing a long-range master plan for WISD, which began with passage and completion of the 2012 bond proposal.
The 2015 bond package addresses the next phase in the district’s master plan to provide a comprehensive site for the school district’s extracurricular and athletic programs.
HOW IS THE DISTRICT’S TAX RATE CONFIGURED?
A school district’s tax rate is comprised of two tax rates: the Maintenance & Operations tax (M&O) and the Interest & Sinking tax (I&S). The M&O rate is used to operate the school district, including salaries, utilities, furniture, supplies, food, gas, etc. The I&S rate is used to pay off school construction bonds. Bond sales only affect the I&S rate.
HOW WILL THE PROPOSED BOND ELECTION AFFECT MY TAXES?
If the bond election is approved by voters, the estimated tax impact of this bond is anticipated to be $0.1098 For the average taxable home value of $100,000, this represents an increase of approximately $7.77 per month.
HOW DO I CALCULATE MY PERSONAL TAX IMPACT FOR THE BOND PACKAGE?
To calculate your personal tax impact from the bond package, divide the taxable value of your property (less homestead exemptions) by 100. Then, multiply that number by .11 for the annual impact of the total bond proposal. You can also use the tax calculator on the Tax Information page to calculate your personal tax impact.
WHAT IF I AM OVER 65 YEARS OLD? WILL MY TAXES GO UP IF THE BOND IS SUCCESSFUL?
No. If you have applied for and received the Age 65 Freeze on your homestead, by law, your school taxes cannot be raised above their frozen level.
WHAT IF I AM OVER 65 YEARS OLD AND RECEIVE THE “SENIOR CITIZEN EXEMPTION” AND MY HOME VALUE GOES UP, WILL MY TAXES INCREASE?
The appraised value can change and the tax rate will change, but the amount of school taxes on your homestead cannot increase. Normal repairs, maintenance and the economic impact of the market cannot increase the amount of taxes you will pay once a tax ceiling is in place on that homestead. Therefore, if this bond election is successful, it will not have an impact on the tax bill for homesteads that are receiving the senior citizen exemption, unless you make significant improvements to your home.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE IN THIS ELECTION?
Any registered voter that resides within the school district boundaries.
CAN I STILL REGISTER TO VOTE IN THE ELECTION?
The deadline for voter registration is April 9. If you are not registered to vote by this deadline, then you are not eligible to vote in this election. You can pick up a registration card from the Whitney ISD Administration Building or you can register online.
AFTER I HAVE REGISTERED, WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY VOTER REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE?
You should receive a Voter Registration Certificate within 30 days. On Election Day, please bring your certificate to your local polling place if you have it. However, all that is required is a valid driver’s license.
WHITNEY INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT ©2015