Frequently Asked Questions1. What is a bond?
A bond is similar to a home mortgage. It is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest 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. 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 to raise the capital dollars required for projects such as renovation to existing buildings or constructing a new school. Essentially, the voters are giving permission for the district to take out a loan 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 voters can decide whether or not they want to pay for proposed facility projects.4. Exactly how much is the bond package?
The Board of Trustees called a bond election with two propositions totaling $265 million. Both Proposition A and Proposition B will go before voters on Saturday, May 2, 2020.5. What exactly is included in the bond?
Proposition A proposes to construct two new elementary schools, a replacement elementary school for both Harker Heights Elementary and Peebles Elementary, and provide renovations to Ellison High School. Proposition B proposes to provide improvements to the stadiums at Ellison, Harker Heights and Shoemaker High Schools to bring them up to 6A competition standards, eliminating the need for all four, soon to be five, comprehensive high schools to share Leo Buckley Stadium.6. How was the bond package developed?
The bond package is the result of a recommendation from the 2020 Bond Steering Committee, a diverse group of citizens who were charged with studying the needs of the district. The Committee studied the district’s utilization of portable classrooms, enrollment trends and growth projections, building age and condition and district financial information, and ultimately came to overwhelming consensus on recommending to the Board of Trustees a $265 million bond package for May 2, 2020.7. How will Killeen ISD pay for this bond?
This bond will be paid for through a combination of local tax revenue and state aid funds. Voter approval of the bond election provides the Board of Trustees with authority to sell bonds to investors and levy the I&S tax rate to raise funds to pay back those bonds. In addition to the local revenue that will be levied, KISD qualifies for state aid under the Existing Debt Allotment and expects to receive approximately 38 cents per $1.00 in debt service from the state if a potential bond program is approved.8. Killeen ISD had a bond in 2018, why is the district holding another bond election?
The 2018 bond election was the district’s first in 16 years, in which that time without an election the district grew by over 13,500 students and was aimed at providing immediate relief for overcrowding and portable utilization resulting from that growth and replacing aging facilities. The 2018 bond projects will eliminate portable classrooms at the secondary level and approximately half at the elementary level.
The 2020 bond will alleviate the remaining elementary instructional portable utilization but allow the district to prepare for future growth. The district has grown by just over 500 students each year for the last 5 years and is expected to maintain this growth rate. The 2020 bond projects, along with ES #39 and MS #15 to be funded through the district's Strategic Facilities Plan, will accommodate approximately 9-11 years of growth assuming a 1% growth rate.9. What is the current status of the 2018 bond?
The 2018 bond program is on schedule and overall under budget. The safety and security projects are complete, and all other projects are under construction, with the exception of Killeen High School which will begin later this year. Keep up with progress via the Bond Program Interactive Dashboard. The 2020 Bond project schedule would layer in upon the completion of 2018 bond projects, taking advantage of active design and construction teams employed.10. How will the proposed bond election affect my taxes?
The estimated maximum tax impact of the total proposal would be 9.13 cents for a total I&S rate of 28.24 cents, and an overall total tax rate of $1.2524 (assuming an M&O rate of $0.97). For the average KISD taxable home value of approximately $129,000, this represents an increase of $9.81 per month.11. How do I calculate my personal tax impact for the bond package?
To calculate your personal tax impact from the total bond package, divide the taxable value of your property (less homestead exemptions) by 100. Then, multiply that number by .0913 for the annual impact of the total bond proposal. Divide that by 12 for the monthly impact.12. What if I am over 65 years old or a disabled vet? Will my taxes go up if the bond is successful?
No. If you have applied for and received the Age 65 or Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption on your residence, by law, your school taxes cannot be raised above their frozen level set at the time of application.13. What if I have received the Age 65 and Over or Disabled Veteran Exemption and my home value goes up, will my taxes increase then?
The appraised value can change and the tax rate will change, but the amount of school taxes on your homestead cannot increase. Normal repairs, maintenance and the economic impact of the market cannot increase the amount of taxes you will pay once a tax ceiling is in place on that homestead. Therefore, if this bond election is successful, it will not have an impact on the tax bill for homesteads that are receiving the senior citizen exemption, unless you make significant improvements to your home.14. What safety precautions are taken during the construction process for schools that are operational?
The district and its construction managers work closely with school principals on phasing of construction to ensure the safety of our students and staff and as little disruption to the campus as possible, as well as arrange for mobility throughout the campus. All construction is secured from students and daily school activity, and all on-site workers are required to undergo criminal background checks. Construction updates and site plans are shared with school staff and parents throughout the construction process so that everyone knows what to expect and how to safely navigate the campus.15. Who is eligible to vote in this election?
Any registered voter that resides within the Killeen ISD boundaries.16. Can I still register to vote in this election?
The deadline for voter registration is Thursday, April 2, 2020. If you are not registered to vote by this deadline, then you are not eligible to vote in this election. The Texas Voter Registration Application can be found online here, or applications can be picked up at any Post Office, library or Department of Public Safety location. Killeen ISD will also have copies of the Voter Registration Application.17. 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 to vote is a valid ID.