The Wichita Falls Independent School District Community Facilities Action Team, or CFAT, narrowed down their bond recommendation to two options this week, but how might people who live in the district be affected if one of the proposals passes in the May election?
The two concept plans range between $151 million to $219.5 million.
While these figures are not set in stone, we were able to get a rough estimate as to how much more residents in the district would be paying in property taxes.
Murphy Davis, President of Sentry Management Incorporated, has seen bond issues pass and fail in the Wichita Falls ISD over the last 20 years during his time as the district's financial advisor.
Davis says, "Given all our circumstances up to this point, we're at one of the most optimum times to be doing a financing."
It is because Davis says interest rates are at one of the lowest points they've been in 20 years and bonds approved by voters in 1998 will be paid off this year which will cause the district's debt service to drop by $3.2 million.
"With interest rates and with the debt service drop that we have going on, there are not many more perfect times for the citizens of Wichita Falls and their school system to pass an issue like this," Davis says.
Should one of the bond proposals pass, here's a look at how much more property owners would be paying.
Davis says for a 25 year bond worth $150 million, a homeowner with an average home worth $100,000 would pay an additional $170 a year in property taxes.
In addition, Davis says, "If we looked at it five years from now, even two years from now, then you just don't know that those interest rates go back up which means we're able to finance less but it would be at a higher cost."
However, he says homeowners 65 years of age and older would not see an increase in their property taxes.
"You can apply for and receive a homestead exemption," Davis says. "At the point that you receive that, you no longer pay any increases in taxes. Your taxes are frozen at that level."
Davis says if the bond doesn't pass in the May election, the school district is obligated to lower taxes for the amount that they are no longer paying.
On an average house worth $100,000, Davis says homeowners would see a decline of about $65 to $70 a year in property taxes.
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