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Friday, February 15 , 2019, 3:51 pm | Light Rain 54º


Hope School District Moves to Validate Bond Authorization

The Board of Trustees of the Hope School District voted in closed session last Friday to file an active validation lawsuit regarding its resolution to authorize the issuance of up to $5 million of bonds for needed school construction.

The resolution authorizing the bonds was approved after a series of public board meetings at which borrowing costs and tax rate scenarios were discussed. The funding represents the balance of an $8 million bond measure that district voters approved as part of Measure L in June 2010.

The board’s borrowing plan features a low-cost repayment ratio of less than $2 for every dollar borrowed, saving taxpayers millions of dollars over a 25-year term. To accomplish this outcome, the plan relies only upon current interest bonds and uses no capital appreciation bonds, which have a longer term for repayment and would have driven borrowing costs higher.

The Board of Trustees is convinced that this plan is the best possible arrangement for property owners, even though the funding plan projects an increase in estimated tax rates. The increase could range from $9 to $18 per every $100,000 of assessed valuation. These amounts are below the legal limit of $30 per every $100,000 of assessed property value.

The potential tax increase resulting from the bond issuance, however, is the reason that the board is taking the pro-active step of initiating the active validation process. In this process, the school district seeks a court ruling regarding tax rates while inviting response from members of the community.

The board has chosen this path because it is a balanced and open approach to secure funding to build a library for Monte Vista School, renovate the multipurpose room for Vieja Valley School and acquire educational technology for students throughout the district.

— Dan Cooperman is superintendent of the Hope School District.

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