What is a Bond?
In the same way homeowners borrow money in the form of a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home, a school district borrows money in the form of bonds to finance the design, construction, expansion, and renovation of schools.
How can bond funds be used?
Bond proceeds may be used to pay for capital improvements and equipment within the District. The proceeds may not be used for operating expenses.
What must the District do in order to issue bonds?
The bonds must be approved by at least 60% of registered voters residing in the District and voting in the bond election. The District has called a bond election for June 7, 2022.
Why do we need a bond?
Our campuses are in dire need of repairs, renovation, additions, and security as was outlined in a facility assessment conducted during the past two years. From the facility study, Tate County School District Board with input from stakeholders developed a plan to address the District’s most important needs. The capital improvements Project includes, among other things, heating and cooling systems, security at East Tate and Strayhorn Elementary, roofs at the Career Technical Center, Coldwater, and Strayhorn, a gymnasium at Strayhorn, a performing arts stage at Coldwater, an agricultural shop at Independence and a band hall at Independence. The District needs to combine the bond proceeds with other funding sources to accomplish the full scope of the proposed Capital Improvements Project to meet the District’s facility needs. Federal funds will be used primarily to pay the costs of the heating and cooling replacement/repairs. A grant of $750,000 was approved in the last session of the Legislature to pay the costs of establishing the agricultural shop at Independence. The bond proceeds and District funds will be used to pay for the remainder of the Project. If the bond election does not pass, the District will be required to reduce significantly the scope of the Project.
Improved facilities have proven benefits by enhancing students' learning opportunities, experiences, and safety. We are constantly working to improve our District. In evaluating the quality of a prospective area, companies often consider the state of the local school district’s facilities. Tate County is growing; our schools need to grow with the County.
The District’s school facilities are in need of immediate improvements, not only for the benefit of our students and teachers, but also for the benefit of the community. Since the Series 2012 Tate County School District school bonds are being retired, we can issue new bonds to make necessary school facility improvements for the next generation without increasing taxes. This opportunity will be lost if the bonds are not issued before this summer.
How will the bond issue affect my property taxes?
The County currently levies 3.5 mills to repay the District’s retiring bonds. The mills will remain the same when the District’s new bonds are issued, therefore, the new bonds will not increase the mills on taxpayers. If the District’s new bonds are not issued, the 3.5 mills may no longer be levied for District bonds. There is no guarantee, however, that the mills will not be picked up by other taxing jurisdictions.
Even if the 3.5 mills remain on the rolls for the District’s new bonds, the mills may decrease as the District’s assessed value increases over the term of the bonds.
Furthermore, the District has decreased its total mills by 23.46 mills over the last nine years by reducing its operating mills and allowing mills for other bonds to roll off. The mills currently levied for the District (54.75) are significantly less than the mills currently levied for the County
(76.60). The District now needs the community to allow the 3.5 mills for the existing bonds to remain, to allow the District to make much needed facility improvements.
The District agrees that a reasonable millage rate is important to attract new businesses and residents to the District. The District has done its part by dramatically reducing its millage rate. Equally important to attracting new businesses and residents is maintaining the opportunities provided to students and the quality of school programs and facilities. Passing the bond election is critical to meeting this goal.
When is the election and who can vote?
The Tate County School bond election will be held from 7am to 7pm, Tuesday, June 7, 2022, with all the County polling places within the District being open. The election is open to all registered voters residing within the District.
Where will the election be held?
Voting places will be all the County polling places within the District. If you will be out of town or unable to vote on June 7, please contact Eddie Hadskey at the Circuit Clerk’s office for an absentee ballot.
I do not have children in the school district. Why should this bond issue matter to me?
An educated community with good academic programs, enhanced opportunities for students and good facilities is a thriving community and is attractive to prospective new businesses and residents. Great schools increase property values and safe schools help ensure safe communities. Young people are our future workforce, homeowners, and taxpayers. Their education prepares them for the next step into adulthood, and the stronger their foundation, the better their outcomes.
Why did we utilize an architect?
An architect is required according to MS Code Ann 73-13-45(1a).
What is the estimated price breakdown?