When a public agency such as a school district needs to raise money, it has the option of issuing bonds. The school board of a school district will propose to the voters of the district an amount of funding needed to build or improve specific district capital projects. The voters of the district then have the opportunity to vote in favor or against the bond.
A bond is a low-interest loan school districts use to pay for new school construction, reconstruction, renovations and property for new schools. In Utah, a school bond can only be used for acquiring, improving, or extending any facility a school district owns. It is similar to a home loan or mortgage. Just like homeowners, Park City School District borrows money and makes monthly payments. Bonding requires the approval of taxpayers through an election. Bonding is the least costly option for taxpayers to build school buildings. Tax payments for a bond typically go down each year as bond debt is paid off. Payout is limited to 21 years.
The District is requires additional funding to accomplish several academic goals for the community:
Comprehensive 4-Year High School Experience – Community and faculty feedback overwhelmingly support providing a comprehensive 4-year high school experience.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Enhancements -Community members expressed strong interest in bolstering CTE offerings and building on the success of PCCAPS in the renovation at both the high school and middle school. The District has seen that 95% of CTE students graduate from high school, which is 10% higher than the national average.
Full Middle School Experience – Community feedback supported the 8th grade students attending a middle school model at Ecker Hill Middle School.
Strengthen Community Services – The community and District leaders are strongly committed to providing early learning opportunities to all students in recognition of the importance of early learning to student success, social equity and closing the achievement gap. Neighborhood elementary schools will have early learning opportunities incorporated with wraparound community services at key locations in the District.
The sale of bonds begins with an election to authorize a specific amount—the maximum the district is allowed to sell without another election. The school district sells the bonds when funds are needed for capital projects, usually once or twice a year. Bids are taken from interested buyers, usually large institutional investors, and are sold at the lowest interest rate offered. The rate is based on the district’s bond rating: the higher the bond rating, the lower the interest rate to sell the bonds. Principal and interest on the bonds are repaid over an extended period of time with funds from the Debt Service tax rate.
The overall capital project list includes six specific projects. The first three – Park City High School, Jeremy Ranch Elementary, and McPolin Elementary schools – are prioritized for the bond proposition.
With passage of the bond proposition the proposed $79.2 million bond, estimates show that a $946,000 average market value of a primary residence will pay an extra $8.35 per month and a business property or second home of the same market value would pay an extra $15.18 per month.
A General Obligation Bond is the least expensive financing option available to the Board of Education and Community. A failed Bond Proposition will increase the costs of the projects
No. By law, capital funds, such as money from a bond, cannot be transferred to the general fund or used to pay for day-to-day costs of running a school district. Bond funds may only be used for “capital” projects, like buying land, building facilities, making major capital improvements, and paying for costs tied to construction. Additional capital expenses that are legitimate are the salaries and office space for capital projects work, and materials/equipment needed to furnish new buildings.
No. Voter approval is an authorization for the district to issue bonds. They will be sold in the future only when funds are needed.
Bonds and levies are two different ways for schools to raise revenue. A bond is debt offered to the public, which must eventually be repaid with interest. A bond can be used for buildings. By contrast, a levy is a local property tax collected to help finance the education programs and operations of public schools.
Another way to differentiate the two is A levy vote is a tax that provides money for learning; a bond vote is a debt that provides money for buildings. Levy = learning; Bond = building.
Information on how to vote can be obtained through several sources:
The Statewide Electronic Voter Information Website – vote.utah.gov
The Summit County Clerk’s website – https://summitcounty.org/281/Voter-Registration-Elections
The School Board’s website – https://pcfutureoflearning.pcschools.us/bond-2021/
Or, by phone through the Summit County Clerk’s Office 435-336-3204