Are You Taxed Enough Already –

Weatherford ISD schemes to increase your property taxes another 10% 

Announcing

Parker County TEA Party Emergency Meeting

When: April 2nd

Where: Victory Baptist Church, 1311 E. Bankhead Dr., Weatherford, TX

Time: 7:00-8:00 pm

WISD Board of Trustees is calling for a $107,320,000.00 Bond Election on May 11th!

Although the Board of Trustees is advertising the number #1 need for the bond is safety and security for our children, it is BLOATED at our expense!

Take a look at this:

Outback “Repurpose and Expansion” – $2,249,604.00

Baseball and Softball Complex – $7,229,555.00

Eight Lane Track w/Synthetic Turf Field & Practice Field – $2,255,248.00

Athletic “Repurpose and Renovations” – $2,578,587.00

And there’s more….MUCH MORE!

These are just examples of the PORK that the WISD Board of Trustees want you to pay for over the next 30 years!

THE TAXES ON YOUR HOME WILL INCREASE BY OVER 10%!

We have a plan of action to defeat this Washington style spending, but we need your help!

ALL HANDS ON DECK….NO EXCUSES! BRING YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR NEIGHBORS!

Change must be made and we are just the people to make it happen!

You are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem!

_____________________________________

Dawn King

Parker County TEA Party

The TEA Party Patriots of Parker County

817.360.8702

dawnking5@aol.com

“….for such a time as this”

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9 responses

  1. This isn’t the time for another tax increase to hit the citizens of Parker County. The families of Parker County are already paying higher food prices, gas prices, clothing prices and the “Unaffordable Care Act” is already taking a toll with more to come. Our schools ARE NOT at capacity and we DO NOT need this bond! Either you are going to help stop this or you are going to pay… literally.

  2. Dawn, how much will our taxes go up???

  3. The post said it would go up 10%

  4. Frank Williford | Reply

    I can tell by the question this post has not generated enough serious thought by taxpayers. How much will taxes go up is not the most critical issue, even though it is important. A closer look at details of the proposed issue will startle you.
    First taxpayers will not be on the hook for “only” $107 million. This figure is the base borrowing amount. When principle and interest are factored in, the tax payers will be liable for 1/2 Billion (yes Billion) dollars over the next 40 years. Taxpayers should also note that the appraised value of their house will very likely double or even triple overthe next 40 years, now how much tax will you have to pay to retire the $107 million in debt?

    There are also another couple of important points. It should be noted that not one new school is included in this pork laden bond issue. Some expansion for the high school and some renovation for other schools is included but much of the money will be spent on feel good issues that have absolutely nothing to do with improved academic results. Even the $10 million of enhanced technology proposed is already largely outdated and what remaining lifespan it might enjoy is limited and should never be paid for with debt that will go on and on for the next 40 years, long after the technology has been relegated to the scrapheap.

    One should not forget there was a large bond issue by the WISD only a few years ago and a new high school and two secondary schools were built for far less money than what is now being proposed with not even one new school included. What are the chances of WISD not asking for more new schools relatively soon?

    Only last year the then WISD superintendent asked that over reserve in the P&I sinking fund for the previous bond issue be moved over to operations and maintenance. This should never be allowed yet this new bond proposal is packed with issues more accurately classified as maintenance.

    And lastly the new non educational facilities being proposed will also require maintenance and increased personnel for operations. None of this is of course mentioned as it is not part of the bond issue. Where will this money come from?

    The taxpaying public should never ever allow a bond issue this large with so little accountability be passed. Smaller bond issues that accurately and honestly present the actual WISD needs and the ramafications of those needs should be utilized.

  5. I think it is important to only state the facts, so I want to clarify and correct a few things.
    The number one need for the bond is not proposed to be safety and security. There is a list of needs; however, no single need is identified as being number one. I think if you closely examine the proposal, it is clearly evident that one purpose of this bond is due to overcrowding, which is a problem if you visit many of the elementary classrooms.
    The principal amount of this bond offering is $107,320,000. With interest that will come to $217,464,800. If you add the previous bond still outstanding ($69,349,007), the total comes to $427,602,275. Burleson’s total bond debt to maturity is $635,900,806 as of 2013, Keller is $1,217,452,593, Crowley is $644,915,519, and Aledo is $301,127,258. Clearly these are growing school districts located just outside the DFW metroplex that are attractive destinations for those looking to move out of the city.
    These two bonds will not be repaid over the next 40 years, but the next 30 years.
    The technology component you speak about will not be financed over 30 years. The computers ($5.6M) will be paid for in 5 years, whiteboards ($3.3M) in 10 years, and infrastructure ($1.9M) in 15 years.
    The new high school you speak of was not a “few years ago”. The last bond election was in 1999 and the high school was opened in 2003, which is 10 years ago. Also, the other two campuses built were not secondary schools but elementary campuses.
    I’m not sure what you are trying to imply about the P&I sinking fund and operations and maintenance. It is called I&S (interest and sinking) and M&O (maintenance and operations). You say it never should have been allowed, which is certainly your right to have that opinion, but it was approved by a vote of the Weatherford citizens, after extensive educational material was presented on the subject. The vast majority of school districts in Texas had to take this step due to the $5.4B dollar education budget cut from our Texas legislature. Furthermore, I don’t know how you would ever classify buildings, athletic facilities, technology, security, etc. as maintenance & operations. These are clearly capital improvements meant to be paid for through bond offerings.
    Now that those items have been cleared up, let’s discuss the bigger picture.
    Currently, three elementary campuses are over 100% of capacity, while the Ninth Grade Center is only at 38% capacity. Clearly it makes more economical sense to reconfigure the campuses than to build new schools. The leaders of WISD are proposing a plan that is justifiable and most definitely needed. The population of Weatherford has grown by approximately 33% since the last bond election. This bond election will accomodate growth for the next 10-20 years, while continuing to make Weatherford a destination that is attractive for young families to raise their kids.
    I think it should also be noted that Weatherford ISD’s current tax rate ($1.40) is near the bottom of similar size, growing school districts in North Texas. The tax rate, if the bond is approved, would be $1.555, which would still be in line with other similar size districts. Again, this is a needs based bond, and when a district is growing, new facilities are needed to accommodate the growth.
    In addition, kids will not have to leave the high school campus to take part in athletic practices, band, or career and technology classes. The bond proposal addresses this significant safety issue. If you were living in Weatherford in 2007, you will remember an outstanding student athlete with a bright future who was killed in an auto accident on his way from the high school to track practice.
    As a parent of children in WISD, I fully support this bond proposal, which in the end, is really an investment in my children’s and grandchildren’s future.

    1. Stephen,
      1. Most of the G20 countries have a greater debt to GDP ratio than the US, does this make our obscene amount of national debt OK? I don’t mean to trivialize your comparison of W’Ford’s debt to other districts, as that is a very common tool to understand where your city or state lies, however it is not acceptable. Balloning debt is very common, doesn’t make it the right course of action. I would ask you to look to the FT Worth Star Telegram from about 1 week ago. The paper had a huge article about the Tarrant County College District. TCC is about to go debt free! A big ZERO! How did they do it? They implemented a “Pay as you go” philiosophy some years ago, and after the lean years have passed, TCCD is doing what only 2-3 other colleges in the south are doing…paying in cash…for everything! The teachers are more secure, the salaries are going up, buildings are bought and built with no financing!!! didn’t we build the football stadium with cash? Was there not a capacity issue then? The idea that weatherford ISD is about to go under if this doesn’t pass, is kind of hard to swallow, when cash was used to build a stadium (half build).
      2. I was thinking about this the other day and it may not be feasable, but if the 9th grade center has sooo much space and moving 6th grade out of the elementary schools is prefered…than why not make it an 8-9 grade center and move the 6th in with the 7th graders? That would free up your couple K-6 schools over capacity and better utilize the 9th grade center, without hiring 1 extra person? The travel back and forth is an issue, but you work with what you have…and we’ve done it for 10 years.
      3. I have another question…about technology…it sounds good to say you finance the items for a shorter term…but how is that done? Isn’t the bond issued? Investers buy up 107million of W’Ford municipal bond debt and we get a deposit in our account for the same? If you hire a construction company to build the new 9th grade wing and they agree to take payment over 10 years…isn’t it a bit misleading to say that the 9th grade wing is paid off early? Its a bond, one big bond, not multiple smaller bonds issued on varying interest rates? Right…educate me on that becuase I am confused?
      Thank you for the post, more residents need to be speaking up (preferably on the frugal side).

      1. So TCCD acquires money(a depreciating asset) and saves it at a rate that is lower than inflation to delay purchase of property(an appreciation asset) that has historically appreciated at a rate higher than the inflation rate and you see this as making economic sense? All of the “savings” you are seeing in avoiding interest payments are more than lost if you factor in property appreciation and inflation.

      2. Saving a depreciating asset (money) that results in the delay of acquiring an appreciating asset (property) isn’t sound economics. Let’s say a family wants to purchase a $240,000 house so they save $1,000 per month. After 20 years they have saved $240,000 and go to purchase the house, but now the house costs $380,000. Back to the savings plan for another 14 years. The “savings” you are counting on from avoiding interest payments is more than lost when you factor in inflation, appreciation of assets, loss of revenue(TCC had less students until their purchase) and, in a bigger picture, less opportunity for people to improve their lives and community. Do you pay/go? Do successful businesses? No. Debt is a tool for investment that improves communities and lives.

  6. In response to your comments and questions above, I would offer this.

    1. The TCCD expansion into downtown Fort Worth via the Trinity River East Campus was riddled with cost overruns and corrupt manipulation of the public’s money from the very beginning. The “pay as you go” strategy certainly sounds nice, and I would say is a good idea in general, but many times is not feasible. Nevertheless, the drawbacks to this type of strategy were certainly prevalent with this project. When those charged with allocating and overseeing public funds have free reign to do as they please, there is inevitably going to be corruption. This was a $192M project (that is $1,476 per sq ft!) that should have cost closer to half that. Yes, the campus is impressive, but that is what you get when no one is asking questions. With bond offerings, which former TCCD Chancellor Leonardo de la Garza opposed, at least you have oversight of what the funds will be used for, it is done with a VOTE (I think some folks forget that these bonds are issued only with the majority support of the taxpayers), and there is a checks and balances system in place. De la Garza was the one who championed this “pay as you go” system for TCCD back in 1998, and who ultimately had to resign in 2009 amid all the controversy over this project. Finally, he instituted a tax rate that was one of the highest of the larger community colleges in the state in order to pay for this project and others, and only a select few were around to see how the money was spent.

    2. Yes, they did pay for the stadium renovation with cash, which took 7 years to save for. With the structure of today’s school finance system, it would be impossible to pay cash for the expected growth of the district in the next 10 years.

    3. Regarding the re-organization of the various grade levels – I am certainly no expert on this, but I do believe there is quite a bit of research out there regarding the transition from 9th grade to high school. I know many districts went to the 9th grade only model. With this new wing for the high school, the 9th grade will essentially be a separate school from the 10-12. I don’t believe having 9th graders with 8th graders would work, neither from a developmental stage (both physical and emotional) nor from an extra curricular activity perspective. Ninth grade can participate in junior varsity and varsity level activities and 8th grade cannot. I also think 9th graders would be more successful in the classroom when associated with the high school. It’s really about a process of growing up and becoming more accountable and responsible. In my opinion, pairing them with 8th grade does not accomplish this. Again, I am no expert here.

    4. Regarding the bonds – There is not just one large bond issued. The bonds are sold with varying maturity dates and varying interest rates. For example, you might buy a 2018 maturity at 1% and a 2033 maturity at 2.5%, with each one having different amounts. I believe WISD assumed an overall rate of 4.4% in their calculations, which I believe is a little high. Issuing bonds can be a fairly complicated process.

    As a final note, it is important to remember that this bond proposal was developed with the input of local business leaders, citizens, parents and staff. It was not thrown together on a whim by a select few trying to push a personal agenda. Although I support it, I certainly understand there are those on the other side. In the end, the Weatherford citizens get to decide, and that is a freedom I certainly appreciate.

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