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We can't afford to wait on passing school bond

 
August 23, 2022

Here’s some bond perspective for today ... Boundary County School District is one of 12 school districts across Idaho that is running a bond or plant facilities levy Aug 30 with a total of $261.4 million worth of projects at stake across the state. When school districts in Idaho are faced with large capital improvement projects (in our case replacing an unsafe, 73-year-old elementary school in addition to some smaller projects), bonds and plant facilities levies are our only recourse in funding these projects – there is no other way.

Bonds allow us to borrow money, at “todays” interest rate (much like a home loan), over a set period of time, in our case 20 years.

For those of us on the facilities committee for Boundary County School District, our goal was to incur no net change in the tax implication for our residents when we initially ran this bond in Mar 2022. At that time, we would have locked in a $16.4-million bond at 2.6-percent interest rate and had no real change to taxes as we rolled from one bond that built the high school into the next.

Because we did not have a 66.7-percent super majority vote in March, we are now running this bond again on August 30, this time with higher interest rates because, as forecasted, interest rates have risen and are projected to keep rising.

We will still be able to lock-in $16.4M, this time at four percent interest. By not passing the bond in March, this six-month delay cost all of us taxpayers an additional $2.7 million for the same amount of borrowed money due to higher interest costs.

Let’s not miss the boat; let’s not make this same mistake twice ... if we delay another six months, interest rates are expected to be as high as eight percent by early next year.

Again, our need as a community does not go away, it just gets more and more expensive the longer we wait.
Teresa Rae
Bonners Ferry

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Mike Weland, Publisher
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