The law provides that a school district must hold an election and get permission from voters to sell bonds and to levy taxes to pay for them. Bonds are sold to provide funding for capital improvements that last for a number of years. Such investments are often too large to be included in annual operating budgets. Just as an individual agrees to repay a new home loan, voters authorize the District to sell and repay bonds for making major capital improvements. School boards can only levy I&S taxes for debt in the amount necessary to repay the bonds If the amount needed to pay the bonds is less, the district taxes less.
The State Property Tax Code allows a homestead exempt for those 65 years or older. If an individual 65 years of age or older files for a homestead exemption, this individuals homestead taxes are “frozen” and will not increase if the bond propositions were to pass. The “Over 65 Homestead Exemption” creates a ceiling on the amount of school taxes that are paid by individuals 65 or older. A tax increase from a new bond program cannot increase the applicable tax celining of a taxpayer that has qualified for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption,” unless improvements are made to the home.
Perryton ISD and a Long Range Planning Committee made up of community members assessed the areas of need in Perryton ISD. The age of facilities, the lack of viable resources in classrooms, areas that do not meet recommended standards, instructional spaces that are too small, as well as safety and security concerns were all contributing factors in the decision to pursue a bond.
The Long Range Planning Committee was made up of community members that visited PISD campuses and facilities. They assessed the needs of all the campuses and decided Wright Elementary and Perryton High School were in the biggest need of renovation. They also determined there were additional needs at Ranger Field for locker rooms, concession stands, bathrooms, offices, and a new weight room.
The Long Range Planning Committee met for over a year to assess these buildings and determine the best plan of action. The committee met with administrators, teachers, and staff to consider what they needed to perform their jobs to the best of their ability.
The Long Range Planning Committee presented their decision to pursue a bond to the Perryton ISD Board of Trustees on February 3, 2023. The PISD Board of Trustees voted to call for a bond on February 15, 2023 with a vote of 5-1.
Proposition A will cost $35.1 million and would include the following:
Proposition B will cost $4.8 million and would include the following:
The Long Range Planning Committee created a list of proposed projects based on their review of campuses and facilities. These campus and facility tours included administrators, teachers, community members, students, and industry professionals. Proposition A was determined the highest need due to the age of Wright Elementary and Perryton High School, as well as safety and security reasons. Proposition B was proposed because of the limited resouces currently available and the voiced interest in new facilities proposed in Proposition B.
The PISD Board passed a $.20 per $100 valuation tax rate in August of 2023. This is $.02 less than was requested during the bond election. The School Board wanted to recognize that the tornado in June caused a chnage in financial situation for many of our residents and wanted to do what we could to help ease that pressure. At the same time, the updates to the schools is a part of rebuilding and revitalizing Perryton and will help in the recovery so it is important that we complete them.
Right now we are negotiating a contract between Perryton ISD and Huseman Builders Inc. Huseman Builders Inc. was selected as the design builder for the bond project on November 28th, 2023 at a special scheduled board meeting. We hope to be able to approve the contract in December of this year (2023).
In talking with our bond advisor, we decided to sell enough bonds to get the projects started and wait for the possibility that interest rates will drop. This will give us “more bang for our buck” when we sell the remaining 15 million.