Proposed Grundy tax could benefit schools
By Kris Stadalsky Correspondent February 27, 2013 10:32AM
Updated: April 4, 2013 6:13AM
School superintendents from Grundy County will be getting together soon to discuss a county tax that could affect property tax payments to the schools.
Minooka High Superintendent Jim Colyott said the group will meet May 9 with current experts on the subject. They will hear about the pros and cons of a 1 percent county tax and how it’s worked for other counties.
Colyott told school board members last week that it’s an option they could explore to lessen the burden of schools on property taxpayers.
“(It) could bring in a lot of revenue,” Colyott said.
By taking advantage of more debt refinancing opportunities, Minooka High School District could save more than $3 million and possibly keep its tax rate stable.
The school district has more than $63 million in outstanding general obligation bond debt and more than two-thirds of the principal is available for cost savings and restructuring, said Todd Krzyskowski, managing director for Mesirow Financial.
The 2006 referendum bond issue to build south campus has a $26 million balance and savings from that alone could be as much as $3 million, Krzyskowski said. Two other bond issues could save another $800,000.
The district has saved thousands of dollars already by restructuring bonds as they become available to take advantage of lower interest rates.
As a result, the current tax rate of $2.34 should be able to be maintained for the levy years of 2012 and 2013, Krzyskowski said.
“It looks like you will have another opportunity to do that later this year,” he said.
Minooka High is eligible for Bank Qualified Tax Exempt interest rates for refunding or restructuring up to $10 million in bonds annually. That means 65 percent more savings than if it weren’t available, Krzyskowski said.
The district also a strong AA rating right now and has the flexibility to refinance.
“It looks like you are going to have good news from savings later this year and next year,” Krzyskowski said.