RISD Bond 2017
RISD

Calculator

Use this calculator to determine your estimated monthly tax impact of the Redwater ISD Bond 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Bond 2017 FAQ 15: When is early voting? (Posted April 21, 2017)

Early voting begins Monday, April 24, 2017 and ends Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Please see the chart below for early voting dates, times, and location.

 

Bond 2017 FAQ 17: When is election day? (Posted April 25, 2017)

If you do not vote during early voting, you may vote Saturday, May 6, 2017, at Redwater Elementary Library from 7:00 am until 7:00 pm.

Bond 2017 FAQ 16: What is a PAC? (Posted April 24, 2017)

A PAC (Political Action Committee) is a group of people that accepts political contributions or makes political expenditures in support of an election. A PAC forms only after the election is formally called by the Board of Trustees. Legal requirements of a PAC include: electing a chairperson(s)and treasurer, filing paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission, regular reporting of financial contributions/expenditures and dissolving after the election. During the election, a PAC serves as the "advocacy" group. Individual district employees may participate in a PAC as long as they use their own time and resources careful not to represent themselves as a district spokesperson.

Bond 2017 FAQ 14: How long will construction take? (Posted April 20, 2017)

If the bonds are approved by the voters, the Board will interview architects and construction companies almost immediately after the election. Once those are in place, they with school input, will create a schedule that addresses the many facets of the District's proposed projects. Part of this will include a projected calendar for completion.

Bond 2017 FAQ 13: If issued, how long will the District carry the bonds? (Posted April 19, 2017)

The District anticipates the bonds will initially be repaid in annual increments over 15 years.

Bond 2017 FAQ 12: How much will the bond package increase my taxes? (Posted April 18, 2017)

The Board has called for a Bond Election in the amount of $8 million. The following chart will provide sample costs.

You may also use the calculator in the left sidebar to figure your exact tax. You will need the appraised value of your home, minus your homestead exemption, and then you can complete the tax calculator provided.

Bond 2017 FAQ 11: Will new residents and businesses help pay for the bond program? (Posted April 17, 2017)

As additional homes and other taxable properties are constructed within the District, additional tax dollars will be generated for the payment of the bonds, if approved by the voters.

Bond 2017 FAQ 10: How was the new building at the Middle School campus funded for our students in grades 4, 5 and 6? (Posted April 14, 2017)

The middle school building was paid for from the District’s fund balance. A fund balance acts exactly like a savings account for an individual. The building was purchased for $3 million. After the foundation work was completed the modular building was moved in and completed. Students in grades 4, 5 and 6 are housed in this building. The Texas Education Agency has suggested guidelines for the amount Districts should have in fund balance. Once this purchase was made, the District is in sound financial condition but it cannot afford another out of pocket expense of this magnitude.

Bond 2017 FAQ 9: When was the last bond passed in RISD? How were those funds used? (Posted April 13, 2017)

The District has not passed a bond election since 1996. Proceeds from that bond were used to construct the Elementary.

Bond 2017 FAQ 8: What have our tax rates been in the recent years? (Posted April 12, 2017)

In 2008 the Texas Legislature compressed property taxes to $1.04. RISD passed a tax ratification in 2007. Our taxes for maintenance and operations (M & O) have been at $1.17 with a $.10 cent Interest and Sinking ( I & S) or $1.27 since 2005.

Bond 2017 FAQ 7: How will the bond package affect residents who are 65 years old or older? (Posted April 11, 2017)

  1. For residents, who are 65 or older and own their own home and have received an “over 65 homestead exemption,” there is already a tax ceiling on the amount of school taxes that they pay.
     
  2. School taxes on their home cannot increase as long as they own and live in that home. The tax-ceiling is the amount paid in the year the taxpayer qualifies for the over 65-exemption. School taxes may be below the ceiling, but not above the ceiling amount.
     
  3. Persons who have the over 65 homestead exemption do not pay more taxes-even if the District raises its tax rate.
     
  4. If a couple owns a home together and only one is 65 or older, they both qualify for the over 65 exemption.
     
  5. Taxes for those who have over 65 exemption can only go up if substantial home improvements are made on the home causing their appraisal to increase.
     
  6. Those 65 or over must go to the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston to apply for the over 65 homestead exemption. Just because you turned 65 does not make you automatically eligible.

Bond 2017 FAQ 6: Who can vote in our Bond Election 2017? (Posted April 10, 2017)

All registered voters that live in the RISD school district may vote in the election. If you pay Redwater school taxes, then you are eligible to vote.

Bond 2017 FAQ 5: What upgrades and renovations to academic campus facilities are proposed in the upcoming Bond Election for our school? (Posted April 7, 2017)

The Bond proposition includes: building a classroom wing onto the existing high school that would allow the math department to move from the 9 year old portable buildings into the safety of the main building, this would also include the health sciences and social study classes that are taught in the portables; the high school art class which is currently housed in the junior high building would move into this new wing allowing all high school students to be safely housed in one facility. The high school cafeteria would be renovated to accommodate our students, currently we cannot feed all students inside the cafeteria although we have two lunch periods; the band hall/fine arts facility would be remodeled to accommodate all students and their equipment in our fine arts program; the drainage in front of the elementary and cafetorium will be addressed and awnings will be installed for parent pickup and delivery as well as bus loading and unloading; drainage issues will be addressed in the back of the junior high building as well as the construction of a covered safely boarding area for JH and HS bus riders. At the Kindergarten building, new classrooms and restrooms will be added. Currently the district cannot accommodate all the kindergarten classes in the existing building, the restrooms are not adequate to accommodate the children in the building with the current facilities available.

Bond 2017 FAQ 4: If approved, how does the bond process work? (Posted April 6, 2017)

Bond elections are presented to voters in the form of a ballot proposition to either approve or deny the school the ability to issue and sell an amount of bonds. If approved by the voters, the District can issue and sell an amount of bonds, in one or more installments, to construct, renovate and equip facilities within the District. Bonds are offered in the public market to potential investors at competitive market rates. The proceeds from the bond sale are deposited into a construction fund to pay for the construction and related costs of the proposed projects.

Bond 2017 FAQ 3: Why does state law separate a school district’s taxes into two parts and what is the intended purpose for each? (Posted April 5, 2017)

Under Texas law, school districts are allowed to levy a tax for maintenance and operations (M&O), and a tax for debt service to finance capital improvements (I&S). State law limits the ability to utilize M&O taxes for capital expenditures such as facilities. The regular operating costs for the District (M&O) includes the day to day operating costs for the district such as instructional costs, teacher and staff salaries, administrative costs, supplies, utilities, maintenance, etc.

Bond 2017 FAQ 2: What can Bond money be used for? (Posted April 4, 2017)

The law restricts how a school district can spend bond revenues. Bond revenues can only be used for capital equipment or improvements such as new construction, renovation projects, furniture, library books, computers and network technology, school buses and similar items. By law, bond proceeds cannot be used for recurring costs such as teacher salaries and benefits, utilities, insurance or other operating expenses. The bonds are repaid through a portion of the taxes paid by property owners.

Bond 2017 FAQ 1: What is a Bond Election? (Posted April 3, 2017)

Texas Public schools rely on the support of local taxpayers to fund the construction and improvement of school facilities. Similar to homeowners borrowing 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 renovations of schools and district facilities. The School Board’s authority to issue bonds must be approved by a majority of voters in a Bond Election, and if so, then the bonds are issued and sold to investors in the competitive investment market.