CCS Bond - Financial Facts
Dear CCS Families and Community Members,
On November 8, 2022, our community will vote on a Clarkston Community Schools bond proposal. If approved by voters, this bond proposal is projected to require no tax rate increase to property owners over the current year debt millage rate and would provide up to $197,500,000 for district-wide improvements.
This bond proposal was developed as the second part of the long-term master plan for district facilities. To plan accordingly and be good stewards of these public facilities, we reviewed and updated our 2016 Facilities Master Plan, evaluated all buildings, prioritized identified needs, and gathered feedback from students, staff, families, and community members. The result is a comprehensive bond proposal that focuses on the highest priority projects and concentrates on three key areas: Safety and Security, Aging Building Systems, and a New Clarkston Junior High.
In my past communications, I have gone into detail about the projects that would be completed if the bond proposal was approved by voters. Now, I would like to take this opportunity to address the financials. Over the past several weeks, I have been meeting with staff, parents, and community members about the bond. Each time the same questions about financials come up. I would like to share those questions and answers with all of you.
If the bond is approved, what will the millage rate be, and for how long?
If approved by voters, it is estimated the current debt millage rate of 7.0 mills would not change. The 7.0 mills would be extended further into the future until 2034 and then decline due to bond repayments and taxable value growth.
How does CCS compare to neighboring districts?
Looking at the debt millage rates to fund capital improvements at area school districts, including Clarkston Community Schools levies 7.0 mills. This millage rate puts Clarkston as the third lowest of nine surrounding districts.
How can the district raise $197,500,000 without raising the tax rate?
If approved by voters, it is estimated the current debt millage rate of 7.0 mills would not change. However, the 7.0 mills would be extended through 2034. This extension, along with increased property values, growth in property tax capacity, and our participation in the School Bond Loan Fund, will allow our district to raise $197.5 million without increasing the tax rate.
What would happen to my taxes if the bond did not pass? Would I see an immediate drop?
No, regardless of the bond's approval on November 8, 2022, the current millage rate of 7.0 would not begin to decline until 2025. At that time, the rate would gradually decrease through 2042.
How can bond dollars be spent?
Voter-approved bond funds can be spent on new construction, additions, remodeling, site improvements, athletic facilities, playgrounds, buses, furnishings, equipment, and other capital needs. Funds raised through the sale of bonds cannot be used on operational expenses such as employee salaries and benefits, school supplies, and textbooks.
How has the school district managed its finances in anticipation of the bond election?
Over the past 17 years, CCS has saved school district taxpayers over $30 million in interest costs on outstanding bonds and projected interest cost avoidance on outstanding loans through refinancing. This includes a savings of approximately $4 million this spring.
I share all of this with you because I want to ensure that all voters have the details they need to make an informed decision when voting. The 2022 bond proposal would allow Clarkston Community Schools to address the most critical needs of our district and our students if approved. Please visit www.clarkston.k12.mi.us/community/bond-2022 for more detailed information.
If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact the district at (248) 623-5400 or at email@example.com.
Dr. Shawn Ryan