What is a bond election?
School districts are required by state law to ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors in order to raise capital dollars to renovate existing buildings or build a new school. Essentially, it is permission to take out a loan to build and renovate and pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their home or home renovation. A school board calls a bond election so voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.
Why call a bond election?
Bond interest rates are at an all-time low in the 41-year history of Bond Buyer Index. If districts need to borrow money, now is the time to lock-in historically low borrowing costs.
Most school districts in Texas use bonds to finance renovations, additions and new facilities. Bridge City ISD does not receive any money from the state for the construction of new school buildings or improvements. Since school buildings serve the community for 50 or more years, it is well reasoned that taxpayers would pay for them over a period of 30 years and not from the district's annual operating budget.
How will a new CTE Facility address the overcrowding at the High School campus?
The CTE program has greatly expanded over recent years, and many CTE courses are being taught in regular classrooms on the BCHS campus. By building a new CTE facility, those courses can be relocated to the CTE facility from the BCHS campus, freeing up eight classrooms on the BCHS campus.
What are the enrollment projections for Bridge City ISD?
According to a recent Demographic Study, BCISD should increase by over 400 students in the next 10 years.
How is the district’s tax rate configured?
A school district’s tax rate is comprised of two components or “buckets”. The first bucket is the Maintenance and Operations (M&O) budget, which funds daily costs and recurring or consumable expenditures such as teacher and staff salaries, supplies, software and utilities. The second bucket is the Interest and Sinking (I&S) budget, also known as Debt Service, and that is for longer-term capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections. I&S funds cannot by law be used to pay M&O expenses, which means that voter-approved bonds cannot be used to increase teacher salaries or pay rising costs for utilities and services.
How much will my taxes increase?
The tax rate will increase by a total of 21 cents if both Propositions pass. For a $150,000 BCISD home, this would mean an increase of $19.47/month.
Would my taxes go up if I am over 65 years of age?
No. By law, if you receive an Age 65 or Older Exemption, your homestead tax rate cannot be raised above the frozen level unless you make significant improvements to your home. A significant improvement would be anything beyond normal maintenance or repair, such as building a swimming pool or adding a garage or game room.