School board looks at tax rate data in preparation for possible bond election
Posted on 2/12/2019 5:36:00 AM.
(Seguin) -- With a future bond election in the works, Seguin ISD's financial advisor is providing some insight into the district's financial health and how the multi-million dollar projects would impact taxpayers should the voters say "yes."

Trustees, on Tuesday, are expected to call for a May 4 election giving voters the chance to decide on several facility projects district wide. Among those projects are $39 million for the renovation of A.J. Briesemeister Middle School; $17.3 for the rebuild of Matador Stadium and $3.9 for the renovation of Jefferson Avenue Elementary School.

At this time, the Seguin ISD is considering at least two bond options. The initial package totaling $64.7 million would see a five cent increase in the tax rate. Trustees have also most recently talked about possibly including the construction of a new baseball field and the renovation of the softball field at Seguin High School. Now should that option be approved, the overall bond total would increase to $69.7 million and would trigger a tax rate increase of five and a half cents.

The district's financial advisor Victor Quiroga, of Frost Bank Capital Markets, says when it comes to supporting these and all other current obligations, the Seguin ISD sits in a very good position financially. He says the Seguin ISD has worked hard and has planned accordingly to be able to take on such future endeavor.

"That's not determined just by me but by the independent rating agencies like Standard & Poor's and Moody's that validate not only for the district but bond investors that have bought Seguin ISD bonds or will be buying Seguin ISD bonds and so the district is in great financial shape in terms of its property values and its growth and then in terms of the tax payer and the tax rate, the district has always been prudent about how to manage that tax rate," said Quiroga.

As for that tax rate, Quiroga says it's important for individuals to know exactly how a bond issue will affect them. He says it's just as equally as important to understand how the tax rate will be rolled out once the district decides to sell the bonds.

He says again thanks to the Seguin ISD's overall financial picture, he believes any expected increase in tax rate wouldn't "be felt all at once."

"But here, the five cents -- the way we currently structured it -- it would be broken into a two year period at about 2.5 pennies were year. That's really the worst-case scenario. I think it will probably be less than that but also I couldn't guarantee it because we are using pretty conservative assumptions. So, I think if I was a taxpayer, I think I'd be comfortable with that that this would be good for our tax dollars. Breaking it into two would mitigate the impact on that. The last thing we want to do, you know, is shock the taxpayers or anything like that so it would be broken up over a two year period," said Quiroga.

According to district officials, a five cent or five and a half cent tax rate increase would be based upon a $100 valuation of a home. For example, looking at a five cent increase, officials say a $100,000 valued home in Seguin "would pay approximately $50 a year in additional taxes to fund that bond."

Those over the age of 65 will also not feel the impact thanks to a homestead exemption.

Rounding out the other proposed bond items are $3.9 million for the renovation of Jefferson Avenue Elementary School, $1.8 million for outdoor ADA accessible playscapes, new play areas and shade canopies for all Seguin ISD elementary schools, $1 million for the land purchase of what will be the the future site of a new McQueeney Elementary School and $1.7 million for various campus improvements to include drainage, HVAC, plumbing and furniture.

Quiroga recently addressed the district's financial health during a board workshop. Quiroga was on hand to better explain the bond process to members of the Seguin ISD Board of Trustees.
Seguin ISD

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