McGREGOR ISD 2013 BOND
The bond proposition to construct a new Primary School and Renovations to McGregor High School was
passed by voters on May 11, 2013. The 2013 bond program will address:
New Primary School - $11,645,000
McGregor Elementary School opened in 2003 with a capacity of 600 students. Due to growth in these grade levels, enrollment
approached the building’s maximum capacity and caused the district to move fifth grade to the Junior High campus in 2006 to
provide space for new students. Today, current enrollment at the Elementary is again approaching the building’s maximum
capacity. This bond program includes the construction of a new Primary School for grades Pre-K–1 to address growth.
• New school for grades Pre-K–1 with an opening capacity of 350 students and the ability
to expand to 500 students in the future
• Fifth grade would move out of the Junior High and back to McGregor Elementary,
creating a campus for grades 2–5
• Will provide additional capacity at McGregor Elementary and eliminate the need
for portable buildings
• Will be constructed next to McGregor Elementary
• Will allow for future growth in elementary and junior-high grade levels
Renovations to McGregor High School - $6,438,000
Today, McGregor High School is operating with the same building materials (flooring, paint, etc.) and building systems (HVAC, lighting, etc.) as when it first opened in 1987. In addition, the facility does not meet handicap-accessibility or building-code requirements in some instances. This bond program includes renovations to the facility to expand its lifecycle another 25 years, increase energy efficiency, provide handicap accessibility and address campus security.
• Relocate the office from the building's interior to the main entrance to improve campus security
• Replace original flooring, ceilings, doors and paint throughout the school
• Renovate for handicap accessibility and building-code compliance
• Expand band hall and add new Ag classroom and storage
• Renovate the current gym, including new air conditioning, sound system and lighting
• Renovate the auditorium, including refurbished seating, a new stage floor, sound system, lighting and other finishes
This bond program also includes adding card-reader access to the exterior doors at McGregor Elementary School and Isbill Junior High School to increase campus security ($417,000).
Voters Over 65
Under state law, the dollar amount of school taxes imposed on the residence homestead of a person 65 years of age or older may not be increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65, regardless of changes in tax rate or property value.
What does this mean?
For example, this homeowner paid $435.80 in McGregor school taxes in 2011 and 2012, even with an increase in their home's appraised value. Because this homeowner has the Age 65 Freeze on their home, they will continue to pay no more than $435.80 per year in school taxes, regardless of increases in property value, or if the bond election is successful.
The McLennan County Appraisal District, not McGregor ISD, is responsible for setting home values. If you have not filed for your Over 65 Exemption, click here to apply for an Over 65 Homestead Exemption.
The chart below illustrates the estimated monthly tax increase for homeowners:
*Includes state-mandated $15,000 Homestead Exemption
Your public-school taxes involve two figures: Maintenance and Operations (M&O), used to pay for salaries, utilities, furniture, supplies, food, gas, etc.; and Interest and Sinking (I&S), used to repay debt. Bond elections affect the Interest and Sinking tax rate.
Currently, McGregor ISD’s Interest & Sinking (I&S) tax rate, is $0.145. When combined with the district’s
Maintenance & Operations (M&O) tax rate of $1.04, the total tax rate for McGregor ISD is $1.185.
If the bond election is approved by voters, the estimated tax-rate increase is 19 cents for a total tax rate
of $1.38. For the average homeowner, this represents an increase of approximately $12.52 per month.
A portion of the funds to construct these projects (approximately $5.5 million) has qualified for a federal
school construction bond program and will be interest-free.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is a bond?
A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with a low-cost interest rate over time. Bonds are sold by a school district to competing lenders to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment. Most school districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities.
2. How can bond funds be used?
Bond funds can be used to pay for new buildings, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment for new or existing buildings and large ticket items such as school buses. Bonds cannot be used for salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel and insurance.
3. What is a bond election?
School districts are required by state law to ask voters for permission to sell bonds to investors in order to raise the capital dollars required to renovate existing buildings or build a new school. Essentially, it’s permission to take out a loan to build and renovate and pay that loan back over an extended period of time, much like a family takes out a mortgage loan for their home. A school board calls a bond election so that voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.
4. Exactly how much is the District asking for?
The Board of Trustees called a bond election in the amount of $18,500,000 to be brought before voters on May 11, 2013 to construct a new primary school, renovations to McGregor High School and security improvements to McGregor Elementary and Isbill Junior High Schools.
5. How was the bond package developed?
The bond package was developed by a Bond Steering Committee consisting of local citizens, business leaders, parents and school staff. The committee met in January and February, reviewed the district’s community survey results, toured McGregor High School and reviewed district enrollment information, facility priorities, options and cost estimates from the district's architect. The committee then developed a recommendation for the Board of Trustees to consider. The recommendations were presented to the Board on February 14, 2013. The Board voted on February 21 to call the bond election as presented by the Committee.
6. Who served on the Bond Steering Committee?
Tony Ocampo (chair), Joe Chamness, Tom Kirk, Luis Ramos, Bryanne-Michelle Lyerly, Mike Hollingsworth, Ottis Foster, Ed Fehler, Ray Dietzman, Dr. Keith Boles, Frank Leos, Charles Mooney, Nelda Robinett, Peggy Eusebio, Prince Anderson, John Sneed, Jennifer Buchanan, Cheri Zacharias, Becky Clarkson, Vanessa Roulhac, Robert White, Celeste Fisk and Jeff Burgess.
7. What does the proposed bond election address?
The proposed bond election addresses capacity limits at McGregor Elementary School, building finishes and systems at McGregor High School and campus security district-wide.
8. Has the district’s student enrollment grown?
Yes. The district’s enrollment has grown by 16 percent since 2006.
9. How has enrollment growth affected McGregor Elementary School?
McGregor Elementary School opened in 2003 with a capacity of 600 students. Due to growth in these grade levels, enrollment approached the building’s maximum capacity and caused the district to move fifth grade to the Junior High campus in 2006 to provide space for new students. Today, enrollment at the Elementary is again approaching the building’s maximum capacity. This bond program includes the construction of a new Primary School for Grades Pre-K–1 to address growth. Fifth grade would then move back to McGregor Elementary School, making it a campus for Grades 2–5 and Isbill Junior High a campus for Grades 6–8. These transitions will allow space for future growth in Grades Pre-K–8.
10. How is the District’s tax rate configured?
A school district’s tax rate is comprised of two tax rates: the Maintenance & Operations tax rate (M&O) and the Interest & Sinking tax rate (I&S). The M&O tax rate is used to operate the school district, including salaries, utilities, furniture, supplies, food, gas, etc. The I&S tax rate is used to pay off school construction bonds. Bond sales only affect the I&S tax rate.
11. How will the proposed bond election affect my taxes?
If the bond election is approved by voters, the estimated maximum tax impact of this bond is anticipated to be 19 cents for a total tax rate of $1.38. For the average homeowner ($78,279), this represents an increase of approximately $10.12 per month. Please visit the Tax Information page for more information.
12. What if I am over 65 years old?
Will my taxes go up if the bond is successful? No. If you have applied for and received the Age 65 Freeze on your homestead, by law, your school taxes cannot be raised above their frozen level.
13. Can I still register to vote in the election?
The deadline for voter registration was April 11. If you have not registered by then you may not vote.
14. After I have registered, when will I receive my Voter Registration Certificate?
You should receive a Voter Registration Certificate within 30 days. On Election Day, please bring your certificate to your local polling place if you have it. However, all that is required is a valid driver’s license.
15. What is card reader access?
The district is proposing to equip all exterior doors with an access control system to monitor exterior door activity. A card will be “swiped” to gain entrance into the building, and all other doors would remain locked and used for exit only. The only door that would remain unlocked during school hours would be the main entrance. All visitors will be required to check in with the main office before being granted access into the school.
©2013 McGregor Independent School District