Residents living in the Garden Grove Unified School District will see a tax increase this year, as the school board voted unanimously to issue the selling of the remaining Measure A bonds after hearing a presentation about the bond initiative.
An increase of $7.22 will appear on the “typical” property tax bill.
The bond initiative, approved in 2010, allocates about $250 million to modernization projects for the District. However, new State Allocation Board regulations put the projects in jeopardy of losing the state’s matching funds if the district did not have the correct funds.
The GGUSD staff proposed to the board to issue the remaining $120 million this summer to keep the current timeline with the state funding.
A special study session was held with the bond’s financial advising firm, George K. Baum and Company, in June.
During the study session, board members asked the firm to come up with options that featured only current interest bonds and offered the lowest tax rate increase. The first series included 1.6 percent of the controversial capital appreciation bonds.
Staff also met with their financial advising firm, Fieldman, Rolapp and Associates, to discuss its recommendations.
Adam Bauer, the firm’s financial advisor the district, said that the firm’s recommendation was to issue a 27-year-long series bond.
According to the presentation, the tax rate will average $42.22 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. The average single family home within the GGUSD area had an assessed valuation of $249,000, according to the firm’s report.
During the meeting, Bauer reassured the board that the tax rate is still in the range promised to voters in 2010, and it does not exceed the maximum $60 tax rate the District had proposed.
“The 27-year scenario still captures that tax rate that you talked about and have a low repayment as you wanted,” Bauer said.
“I think we made a good decision today in choosing the 27-year bond repayment plan,” Board member Bao Nguyen said. “And it’s look like we are moving with our construction and we should have a lot of schools completed by the end of the summer. I really excited moving forward.”
Broad member Linda Reed commended the firm’s presentation and easy it was to follow. However, she directed staff to try to get the message out to the community about the new tax increases.
“We need to make it so that everyone understands it,” she said. “I understood it today but when I get my tax bill I want to understand again.”
Since the resolution was approved, the bonds can be sold starting mid-August.
The meeting also marked the first for new superintendent Gabriela Mafi. She replaces retired former superintendent Laura Schwalm.
Mafi said her first meeting went well.
“The meeting went very well,” she said. “It was pretty standard.”
“We have an outstanding board and it’s a pleasure to be stepping into Laura’s big shoes,” she added.