Early voting underway for CCAISD Proposition One $30M Bond

By Becky Brewster

The CCAISD Board of Trustees has Proposition One on the ballot for the May 7 election for voters to decide on whether or not to approve a $30M bond issue for facility improvements. The CCAISD School Board has sent out informational flyers to all Post Office box holders and developed a webpage relating to the 2016 Bond proposal on the District’s website at http://www.ccaisd.net/district/bond2016, in order to provide factual information to the residents of the District.  On April 25, the District also held its final public meeting on the Bond issue to outline the proposal and answer any questions or address any concerns the public may have.

Representatives from Parkhill, Smith and Cooper (PSC) were on hand to explain to the crowd of about 25-30 attendees the steps used to determine the need for the bond issue and how the costs were calculated.  PSC provided additional clarification on the funding of the proposed improvements, noting that the reason the proposition was fast-tracked to the May ballot was to be able to levy the taxes for debt service for the 2016 tax year thereby taking advantage of the increased taxable values on the mineral rolls.  The District has to sell the debt before they can levy the taxes to begin paying for this debt, so deferring the election to November would push the debt service levy to the 2017 tax year losing the oil/gas property taxes that could be collected this year.

A few points that were brought out in the discussion:

• The election just authorizes the District to sell the bonds, but no debt is incurred until the bonds are actually sold.

• The bonds can be sold in increments with the first sale expected in July or August.

• The bonds are backed by the State of Texas, thereby qualifying the District for lower interest rates.

• Interest rates are at a very low point and the financial advisors recommend locking in this interest rate by selling the bonds quickly.

• The renovations in the proposed bond issue are for the gym and the conversion of a portion of the old high school into the administration offices only.

• Unless enrollment increases, the District will still be paying recapture funds back to the State as long as the taxable values remain high, but the amount of recaptured funds will be lower, thereby saving the District the projected $25.7M over the life of the debt.

• If you qualify your home for an age 65 or older or disabled person homestead exemption for school taxes there is a homestead tax ceiling on your home meaning the school taxes on that home cannot increase as long as you own and live in that home.

Whether you support or oppose the proposition, the final important step to this process is to VOTE.  The polls are located at City Hall at 1801 W. Broadway.  Early voting runs through Tuesday, May 3, 2016 with extended hours until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and Tuesday, May 3.  The polls will be open on Saturday, May 7 from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.  Remember that election day falls on Mother’s Day weekend, so plan your trip to the polls accordingly.