Planned G.O. Bonds
The Wake County Public School System, North Carolina’s largest, and the 16th largest nationwide, has petitioned the Board of Commissioners to take all necessary steps by the issuance of bonds or otherwise to provide funds totaling $983.754 million for WCPSS capital projects. The amount is made up of $43.8 million of funds currently available and $939.9 million of new funds financed by a combination of general obligation bonds and cash funding to be appropriated.
$810 million of general obligation school bonds, plus $129.955 million of cash funding, will provide funding to meet projected growth of 8,158 elementary students by 2017 and 11,740 middle and high school students by 2018. The program would construct 16 new schools by 2018 plus add an additional 1,343 seats in 6 major renovations. Dollars would be added for critical items such as life cycle equipment replacement, technology, security and land acquisition.
General Obligation Bonds
General obligation bonds provide the County the lowest cost of debt to the taxpayer. The County’s triple-A bond rating allows the County to received lower interest rates on debt issued for capital expenditures. The program is planned to be financed with bonds sales and cash appropriations. Based on the County’s current debt and capital assumptions, a property tax increase of 4.86 cents is required for the debt and capital cost of the program, and a 0.67 cents increase in the property tax rate is in the cumulative operating impact of the proposed $939.9 million program. Based on an average assessed value of $263,500, it would cost a homeowner in Wake County an increase in property taxes of $145 a year.
On July 15, 2013 the Board of Commissioners held a public hearing and adopted the bond order on second reading authorizing $810 million general obligation school bonds and adopted the resolution calling for a school bond referendum for October 8, 2013.
The Ballot Question
Wake County voters will be asked the following:
Shall the order adopted on July 15, 2013, authorizing not exceeding $810,000,000 SCHOOL BONDS, plus interest, of the County of Wake, North Carolina, for the purpose of providing funds, together with any other available funds, for construction, expanding and renovation school building san other school facilities in said County, and the acquisition of related land, rights of way and equipment, and providing that additional taxes may be levied in an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bond be approved?
YES [ ] NO [ ]