What has the Board done to minimize the tax impact?
When the Board voted to put a referendum on the ballot, they also made a commitment to reduce other tax levies to minimize the tax impact. The district will restructure and refinance some long-term bonds when the notes are callable in 2022.
Similar to refinancing a home mortgage, refinancing existing debt at a lower interest rate and stretching the payments out will lower debt service payments and therefore lower the tax rate for that debt, which makes room for some of the referendum cost.
Our Community Task Force, which has studied our budget and finances over the last eight months, met with Ehlers Public Finance Advisors and found this solution to be a win-win for the district and taxpayers.
Another benefit is to ag landowners. Agricultural land is not taxed for an operating referendum, but it is taxed on bonds payments. So when the bonds are refinanced and have lower payments, property taxes for Agricultural land will go down slightly. The district is committed to refinancing the existing debt if the referendum is approved.