Mt. Vernon Register-News

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December 24, 2013

High school views funding options

(Continued)

A bond referendum in 2011 asked voters to approve the issuance of $19.8 million in bonds for the new school.

King said the district has only sold $15.8 million of its authorized par amount for these bonds. As a result, the district has the capacity to issue an additional $4 million in bonds, King said.

Smith said of the three alternatives being considered, issuing the $4 million in bonds would likely be the safest choice.

These bonds, King said, would not result in a tax increase for local property owners.

The next option would be to extend tax cap borrowing for up to 20 years.

This involves reissuing more bonds under principal and interest rate amounts that were set in 1998, when tax caps were put in place, Smith said.

The reissued bonds would then be payable in the 2021 to 2033 time period, after existing bonds have been paid off, King said.

The last option, selling alternate revenue options, is likely the least desirable, Smith said.

Alternate revenue bonds are those that have to be paid back from a source other than property tax revenue. Potential sources include a local home rule tax, a county school sales tax, donations, grants or a district’s operating fund.

In these tough economic times, finding a reliable source of funding for these bonds could prove problematic, Smith said.

“It could be a little bit treacherous with the unknowns and everything,” Smith said.

The MVTHS Board has scheduled a special Building Committee meeting for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 30 to continue discussions on the new school project.

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