G.O. Bond Overview
The District’s Ten Year Facilities Master Plan (FMP) provides a blueprint for improving the learning environment for every student. It is designed to bring equitable learning spaces to all District buildings, address the rapid student growth taking place in the school district community, and improve the structure and amenities of the District’s older buildings while preserving the historic qualities of those structures.
Every child’s learning experience should be unique to him or her, and the quality of this experience should not be dictated by the bricks and mortar encompassing the educational space.
The District has utilized Iowa Secure and Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) dollars and Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) dollars to the fullest extent possible to fund the first five years of the FMP. To this point, no property tax has been used.
On September 12, 2017, voters in the Iowa City Community School District will consider an estimated $192 million bond package. The bond will fund the second half of the approved 10-year FMP, which impacts every building in the District.
What is a General Obligation Bond?
A general obligation bond (GO) is one method a school district may use to borrow money for construction projects as provided in Iowa Code Chapter 75. General obligation bonds are issued and backed by the credit of the school district and its taxing authority. Unlike a personal loan an individual would obtain at a local bank, the general obligation bond does not require assets to be used as collateral. School district voters must approve before General Obligation bonds can be used. State and Federal laws tightly control this debt issuance process.
In 2013, voters approved a Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) allowing the District to borrow against future revenue from the state’s penny sales tax, ultimately funding the first half of the FMP. As the District has utilized these dollars to their fullest extent, voters will now decide on the use of property tax revenue to fund the second half of the plan. Property tax dollars are the last remaining revenue stream that the District can utilize for facilities projects. This critical decision will impact the future of a comprehensive facility improvement plan that reaches every corner of the District and impacts every student in our community.