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Poth ISD considers $15M bond issue
Wilson County NewsJune 18, 2014 9,302 views 3 comments
POTH -- The need to make renovations to aging facilities and add additional instructional space to accommodate future growth has officials in the Poth Independent School District (ISD) considering a bond election in 2015. If approved, the tax rate could increase by as much as 25 cents per $100 of taxable value.
At the district’s June 11 board of trustees meeting, Superintendent Scott Caloss prioritized the top needs and their estimated costs, which total $15.5 million:
•Poth Elementary School addition, parking -- $4 million
•Vocational building -- $2 million
•Poth Junior High School science classrooms -- $500,000
•Poth High School gymnasium addition (weight room) -- $1.5 million
•Poth High School, additional parking -- $500,000
•Poth Junior High School, new gymnasium -- $3.5 million
•Poth Junior High School, building renovations -- $3.5 million.
Caloss recommended that the board consider asking voters to approve a $15 million bond issue, for which the funds would be repaid over a period of 20 years. Based on an estimated tax roll of $450 million, this would result in as much as a 25-cent increase to the interest and sinking -- debt-service -- side of the property-tax rate.
Voters in the Poth ISD in May 2013 approved a $3.9 million bond issue to finance additions to Poth High School. This resulted in a 5.66-cent increase in the debt-service portion of the tax rate. The maintenance and operations portion of the rate for the 2014 tax year is $1.04, while taxpayers pay an additional 9.74 cents toward interest and sinking, for a total rate of $1.1374 per $100 of taxable value.
Also related to tax revenue, Larry Stavinoha of Education Service Center, Region 20 gave an hour-long presentation about school funding. Stavinoha said that state funding to Poth ISD has steadily decreased over the past three years, as local funding has increased, due to rising property values. In the 2012-13 school year, the district received almost $4.2 million -- 57 percent of its budget -- from the state, with the remaining 43 percent, approximately $3.2 million, coming from local taxation.
The projection for the 2014-15 school year is that the district’s taxpayers will be responsible for more than $4.8 million -- 71 percent of the budget -- while the remaining 29 percent, just under $2 million, will come from the state. This is because the projected tax roll is expected to reach $484 million, due mostly to a spike in mineral appraisals. (See “Poth ISD considers cuts ahead of possible budget deficit,” May 21.)
In other business, oaths of office were administered to Anthony Cantu, Richie Harris, Les Miller, Laurie Sekula, and Roy Cruz following their victories in the May 10 school board election. When the board reorganized, Sekula was chosen as its secretary, with Wesley West and Wade Harris being reappointed as president and vice president, respectively.
Also in attendance: Business Manager Kim Dziuk and Poth High School Principal Frank Hosek.
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Publius Valerius Publicola
June 18, 2014 11:31am
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