In the last three months, McFarland Unified School District took advantage of low interest rates and saved property owners more than $1.3 million.
In September, the district refinanced portions of its General Obligation Series 2012A and 2013A bonds. The move resulted in a reduction of $1.1 million in taxes. This follows an earlier refunding in June that saved property owners more than $180,000, bringing the total to just over $1.3 million in tax savings over the next 20 years.
“Interest rates for bonds were at all-time lows, and we took that opportunity to save our taxpayers a significant amount of money,” said District Superintendent Aaron Resendez.
The bonds were authorized by more than 55 percent of district voters at an election held in 2012 and were used to improve classrooms, expand high school facilities and upgrade vocational education facilities. In 2013, the district built the new, state-of-the-art Horizon Elementary School. Initially these projects combined were slated to cost $25 million, but the district was able to reach completion under budget, for only $21 million. The district then de-authorized the remaining $4 million, instead of passing that cost onto taxpayers.
“We all benefit from the overwhelming support the community has for its schools,” said Resendez. “And we do everything we can to make good on that trust,” he continued.
Interest rates on the old 2012A bonds were 3.85 percent, and the interest rates on the old 2013A bonds ranged between 3.47 percent and 3.76 percent. Interest rates for the new bonds are between 2 percent and 3.40 percent, a difference that will save property taxpayers $1,134,518. The savings equates to approximately $61 per taxpayer.
The McFarland Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously authorized the refinancing of the bonds at its Aug. 29 meeting.
“We are absolutely thrilled with this fantastic result for our community. To save local taxpayers money, again, is a huge win for the District and its constituents,” said Board President Jim Beltran.
Property owners in the district will see a reduced tax rate on future tax bills beginning in 2021.