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Your Share of the Tax Increase

September 29, 2010

The District 15 spin is that the $27 million bond referendum will cost you only $15/year. Your real cost is far higher.

Housing costs will increase for both homeowners and renters if voters approve the $27 million bond referendum.

For renters it's impossible to know how much other than to understand that property owners will raise your rent to pass on property tax increases.

For homeowners the real cost of the tax increase is much higher than District 15 says. District 15 says your cost will be only $15/year for a $220,000 home. Really!?!

Well, no. The $15/year is the tip of the iceberg. There are five layers in this tax increase iceberg.

  • The tip of the iceberg is the $15/year 20-year tax increase the District talks about for the owner of a $220,000 home.

  • Layer #2 is the other 19 years of this 20-year tax increase.

  • Layer #3 is that taxpayers will be paying off bonds for 20 years but the bond money will be gone in two years as the District uses money previously budgeted for projects to instead fund deficit spending (see District 15's Budget Crisis).

  • Layer #4 is that the bond referendum would authorize $27 million in bonds. The $15/year estimate is for $16 million in bonds. With the forecasted deficit spending (also in District 15's Budget Crisis) it is likely that the District will issue the other $11 million that voters would be authorizing if they vote yes to the bond referendum.

  • Layer #5 is that this allows the District to delay the day of reckoning on fixing the $55 million deficit over the next five years (District 15's Budget Crisis).

As a property taxpayer you can think of the tax increase for the $27 million in bonds as a downpayment toward your share of the 5-year $55 million deficit. The following table shows what your cost will be.

Home Value Your share of
$27 million bonds plus interest
Your share of
$55 million deficit
$220,000 $550 $750
$440,000 $1100 $1500
$660,000 $1600 $2250

Vote No to the bond referendum in November and tell the District 15 Board and Interim Superintendent Thompson that you want a plan for a balanced budget without raising taxes.

Scott Herr


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