Guest Commentary on NEISD Bond

You will be on the hook to pay the debt no matter how high they have to raise your taxes, without limit as to rate or amount!!

By Cliff Bingham

Citizens of the NEISD are being asked to approve a new round of borrowing on 3 Nov 2015.  The amount of the request is $499,950,000.  This is like your local car dealer advertising a sale at $19,999.99, makes you think you are getting a great deal.  I wonder why the district didn’t go for the entire half billion.  I guess $499 looks better than $500.

Here is the text as it appears on the ballot.  (CLICK HERE for a PDF copy of the sample ballot if you want to check it out.)

PROPOSITION (On the ballot)

“THE ISSUANCE OF NOT TO EXCEED $499,950,000 OF NORTH EAST INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL BUILDING BONDS FOR THE PURPOSES OF DESIGNING, CONSTRUCTING, RENOVATING, ACQUIRING, AND EQUIPPING SCHOOL FACILITIES IN THE DISTRICT AND THE PURCHASE OF NEW SCHOOL BUSES, WITH PRIORITY GIVEN TO ADDITIONAL CLASSROOMS AND RENOVATIONS AT SCHOOL CAMPUSES, DISTRICT-WIDE SUPPORT AND OPERATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE ACQUISITION, INSTALLATION, REPAIR, AND IMPROVEMENT (INCLUDING SAFETY AND SECURITY, TECHNOLOGY, AND TRANSPORTATION), AND CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION OF OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL AND NON-INSTRUCTIONAL DISTRICT FACILITIES, AND THE LEVYING OF A TAX IN PAYMENT THEREOF.”

Bond2015LogoIn the Express-News dated 16 Oct., the NEISD had a four page spread laying out all the details of the proposal and election locations.  Two pages in English and two in Spanish.  I noticed that the “Proposition” in Express-News differs from the one that is on the ballot.  It includes some interesting details.

First –  Bonds will be set to mature in not more than 40 years.  At 3% the total interest on the debt will be over $359,150,000.00, that is just the interest, and will be paid off in 2055 and beyond depending on when the bond is let.

Second – The Board is authorized to cause to be assessed and collected, annual ad valorem taxes …without limit as to rate or amount.

You will be on the hook to pay the debt no matter how high they have to raise your taxes, without limit as to rate or amount!!

PROPOSITION (As printed in the newspaper.  CLICK HERE for PDF of the ORDER CALLING A BOND ELECTION).

“Shall the Board of Trustees of the North East Independent School District be authorized to issue and sell bonds of the District in the principal amount of not to exceed $499,950,000 for the purposes of designing, constructing, renovating, acquiring, and equipping school facilities (and any necessary or related removal of existing facilities) in the District and the purchase of new school buses, with priority given to additional classrooms and renovations at school campuses, District-wide support and operations infrastructure acquisition, installation, repair, and improvement (including safety and security, technology, and transportation), and construction and renovation of other instructional and non-instructional District facilities, such bonds to mature serially or otherwise (not more than 40 years from their date) [emphasis added] in accordance with law; any issue or series of such bonds to bear interest per annum at such rate or rates (fixed, floating, variable, or otherwise) as may be determined within the discretion of the Board of Trustees, provided that such rate or rates of interest shall not exceed the maximum rate per annum authorized by law at the time of the issuance of any issue or series of such bonds; and shall the Board of Trustees of the District be authorized to levy and pledge, and cause to be assessed and collected, annual ad valorem taxes on all taxable property in the District sufficient, without limit as to rate or amount, to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds and the cost of any credit agreements executed in connection with the bonds?” [emphasis added]

Here is a copy of the entire two pages from the Express-News:  NOTICE OF ELECTION

When making your decision whether to approve this request, you should also consider the debt already on the books.

CURRENT NEISD OUTSTANDING DEBT

This is a list of the current debt and interest for NEISD. You currently owe $2, 272,595,574.00. That is BILLIONS, people. Nearly half of the total is INTEREST. With a longest maturity date being 08/01/2044.  Just think if we were debt free what we could do with all the extra tax money we now spend on interest.

Cliff's chart

You can see this and other bond info here Texas Bond Review Board.

For instance you can see that the City of San Antonio currently owes $17,060,692,733, SEVENTEEN BILLION!!!!!, when you consider both the General Obligation and  Revenue bonds. Your tax dollars are ultimately responsible for this debt too and the city council is already anxiously talking about the next bond issue which will probably be on the ballot in 2017.  It may add another $750,000,000 or more in principal and interest to the debt.

In addition to the bond issue for NEISD voters, everyone will have to decide on the seven proposed Texas constitutional amendments.  You can review a chart with pro and con information in an Express-News article published on 19 Oct: CLICK HERE.

The voter turnout for this election will be small.  I estimate less than 10% of those eligible will take time to vote.  This means that every vote that is cast is worth 10 times as much.  Please take a few minutes, study the issues, take a friend, and GO VOTE.

Please forward this to your friends and neighbors who live and vote in the NEISD.

Cliff Bingham is a retired Air Force colonel and an engaged citizen watchdog and activist. He writes an email blog, “Birds Eye View,” and is a regular contributor to SATP communications.

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One Response to "Guest Commentary on NEISD Bond"

  1. RICHARD SANDERS  November 12, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Here’s a real “galvanizing issue” across political lines that very probably is repeated in many schools across America. But since a bond deals with everyone’s wallet, this tends to get folks attention. and it doesn’t matter if you’re black, Hispanic, white oriental or a transplanted martian. Visualize if you will students crossing Walzem Blvd. at 8:25 AM on their way into school. Most have an I-Pod or some other media gadget plugged into their ear, the traffic light has turned green and instead of stopping these kids precede like zombies out in front of the cars, another car slams on it’s brakes because another “techno-raptured kid” floats out in front of the driver after having weaved between three lanes of traffic to arrive at the Roosevelt side. The angry driver screams at the kid who returns a “careless” glance and proceeds down the school walk to the rythym of her music. FOLKS WE HAVE A PROBLEM. Now hopefully at this point you may care to kow why; so I would suggest you start here and see if this doesn’t give you pause regarding just WHAT THE HELL we are fuinding and just who is benefitting from our continued STUPIDITY: http://www.neisd.net/dataHS/directory.cfm . I know at least 3 Hispanic parents that are distraught over this and well it makes me wonder is this what my taxes are being used to further, (LOL), because given just this it makes you wonder how much farther America is going.

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