District 200 just gave the teachers, administrators and other staff raises (estimated cost $13 million over 4 years). They are planning on building a new Jefferson pre-school, despite 2 failed referendums (estimated cost $18 million over 20 years). They claim they have the money even though had the DuPage tax collector not given D200 some of the property tax receipts in May (normally the first installment comes in June) CUSD 200 would have had only $15 million in the bank at the end of May – Last year it was $6.3 million in the bank at the low point (the State of Illinois was behind in its payments). Also, remember, during the 2017 referendum, Dr. Schuler claimed it would take $6.5 million per year to maintain all the existing buildings. So, how can the district make the Math work?
They are talking about issuing new bonds. Years ago taxpayers gave them permission to sell bonds for school building renovation, additions to both high schools and a new Hubble middle school. In each case, as bonds are paid off, our taxes should go down. But, they won’t. There is a maximum total debt the district can carry without a referendum. As debt is paid off, their ability to borrow goes up. Existing bonds can be “refunded” to take advantage of lower interest rates, to smooth out repayment schedules and to extend the length of time. (See graph, below) They can also vote to issue new bond debt, tell the public that they plan to do it, and wait 30 days. If no group gathers enough signatures on a petition to force an actual referendum, the district simply issues new bonds (via a “backdoor referendum.” They have not said how much, nor have they said when. But, the writing is on the wall & we are picking up whispers.
Anyone else tired of being told to sit down and open your wallet?
Bond repayment plan from a presentation given May 9, 2017 at the board meeting. The grey area was the bond / tax-repayment plan. Some bonds were refunded in May 2018, Other will be refunded in 2019 (the bars). Taxes won’t be shooting up in the next 4 years, but they added 2-1/2 more years of payments. This is a good thing.
Issuing new debt would NOT be good.