What’s in the 2008 bond proposal?
- Repairs, renovations, safety upgrades in schools across Salem and Keizer.
- Short-term overcrowding relief (portable classrooms) and reimbursables.
- A new middle school in West Salem.
- Three new elementary schools in NE Salem, South Salem and West Salem.
What’s A Bond?
Our local community has a funding option available to them to help pay for construction of schools and/or major renovations and repairs. As taxpayers, we have a choice to approve a bond of indebtedness allowing Salem-Keizer to use the proceeds to pay for repairs, renovations and building of new schools. If approved, our district can use additional property taxes through a bond levy.
Why A Bond?
Majority of our funding now comes from the State, and almost all of that goes toward the general instruction of our students. This does not leave a great amount of funds for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades of our schools. We do budget for maintenance each year, but a bond would tackle the big items like replacement of roofs, windows, heating and ventilation systems, and fire alarms.
What Will This Mean For You?
The bond cost is estimated at approximately $1.21 per $1,000 of assessed home value over the life of the bond, which is 31 years or less. The average assessed home value in Marion County is $138,000; the average assessed home value in Polk County is $157,000. It means no increase in the property tax rate. Why? As the current debt from previous construction bonds is paid off, the new debt will take its place. As new residents move to Salem-Keizer they will help share the cost of this construction bond.
Why not use the new construction tax that was approved recently as a funding source for school repairs and construction? This is a source of funding for our district for repairs, but not enough to manage the amount of renovations and repairs needed. When estimated how much money Salem-Keizer would have received for new construction in 2007, the amount was $1.6 million. It would take 20 years of saving to raise enough to build one elementary school.