Board of Trustees Approves August Bond Vote
In a board meeting July 7, 2017 the Sugar-Salem Board of Trustees approved, for public vote, a $2,000,000 bond. This bond will help to repair or replace worn out maintenance items around the district. Much of this bond would go to continue repair of heating systems in each school but there are also many other needs around district. Those include replacing bleachers in the high school gym, replacing some carpets and other flooring around the district, filling technology needs such as servers and wi-fi access, and replacement of building exterior doors, which are rusting out.
New Bond/Levy Committee Takes Shape!
The Board of Trustees has formed a new committee to review the earlier bond attempt and to provide input and direction as the district moves forward. As the committee was created Kristin Galbraith, Board Chair, worked to get representation from each area in the district.
The committee has now met three times. In the first meeting Superintendent Dunn and the principals provided information about each school and those items which need to be repaired or replaced. There was also some discussion about the recent bond attempt and why it did not pass.
In the second meeting the discussion was about whether or not to go for another bond in August of this year and if so for what. The committee decided that it would be best to go for a bond of $2,000,000 so that there are funds to repair or replace aging and broken equipment. The committee recommended not going for another bond to build an addition at the junior high. It was their recommendation that the district have further meetings with patrons to explore what and where to build to accommodate growth. Committee members commented that the district is certain to have increased growth and that with most schools near a maximum capacity there is need for more classrooms.
Mrs. Galbraith tasked each committee member to have a meeting within their area and invite their neighbors to attend. Committee members will share district needs and solicit input and brainstorm possible solutions.
In the third meeting the committee continued discussing possible solutions and reviewed a presentation on the current status of heating in our district.
Bond/Levy Committee Members
Rhonda Harris 208-390-1991 firstname.lastname@example.org
Shayne Harris 208-390-2973 email@example.com
Kyle Williams 208-313-3388 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julaine Blaser 208-351-6997 email@example.com
Trulee Stocking 208-270-2342 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dwight Bullard 719-306-3607 email@example.com
Nephi Gibson 208-313-2883 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Pinnock 208-403-9709 email@example.com
Brent Esplin 208-317-8772 brent.esplin@edwardJones.com
Russ Michaelson 208-351-6315 firstname.lastname@example.org
Laird Robinson 208-709-5123 email@example.com
What is a Levy?
A levy is a tax that is requested on local property owners in order to raise money. Patrons will be responsible to pay the full amount of the levy because there is no state equalization payment for a levy. The district will receive the money as taxpayers pay their tax bills. When the levy expires, the district has the option of asking for another levy. A supplemental levy can only be for a maximum of 2 years so the patrons generally get a chance to vote on this more often than a bond. A supplemental levy needs a simple majority to pass and can be used for any lawful expense of the district.
What is a Bond?
Bonds and levies are two different ways for our school district to raise revenue. A bond is debt, offered to the public, which must eventually be repaid with interest. A bond can be structured to be paid back over as many years as the district deems necessary. A bond requires a supermajority (66.67%) to pass and is voted on before the bond is issued. A district can have several bonds at the same time, but each must be approved by the patrons. When a school district in Idaho tries to pass a bond, it may also apply to the state for a special bond equalization payment. In the case of the bond used for the high school addition, the district qualified for a 29% rebate payment from the state. This means that our patrons were taxed for 71% of the bond repayment costs and the state picked up the other 29%. The percentage we receive from the state will vary depending upon the following factors within the district: unemployment rates, market value of the district, and per capita income. Our district has been advised that our bond levy equalization rate would be between 20% – 29% for a newly issued bond. This means that if the district passed a new bond, patrons would only pay back between 71% – 80% of the total cost of the projects.
School bonds can be spent to:
- Acquire, purchase, or improve a school site.
- Build a schoolhouse or other building.
- Add to, remodel, or repair any existing buildings.
- Furnish and equip a building. This includes lighting, heating, ventilation and sanitation facilities and appliances necessary to maintain and operate the buildings of the district.
- Purchase school buses.
Because these are the only items a district can spend bond proceeds on, it sometimes becomes necessary to issue both a bond and a levy at the same time.