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Refinancing of school bond will save taxpayers money

The Brookings-Harbor School District refinanced a General Obligation Refunding Bond this year, in order to lower the interest rates and save the taxpayers in Brookings $333,282 over the next seven years.

“The reason we were able to get lower rates is based on our solid credit rating,” Don Sweeney, director of fiscal services, said. “Our finances are stable.” 

The amount of the original bond was $9,735,000. The bond was received in 2001, refinanced in 2004 and again in 2013, saving residents in Brookings on their property taxes.  The total savings of the bond after refinancing is $333,282.88 between April 8, 2013 and Dec. 15, 2020, the payoff date of the bond.

“These bonds are paid for off their property taxes,” Sweeney said. “It does reduce their tax bill. Not a huge amount but it does overall.”

According to Sweeney, the official amount saved by refinancing the bond is 4.307 percent. Individual taxpayers are currently paying $0.6966 per $1,000 on the value of the property. This amount will remain the same until July 15, when the district closes their fiscal year. Once this happens, a new calculation will be done and the amount may go down for individual taxpayers.

DeDe Corpening, administrative secretary, said the bond was issued to build a cafeteria, gym, library and fifth grade classrooms at the elementary school, the cafeteria and three to four classrooms at the middle school, and a cafeteria at the high school. These projects were completed prior to refinancing the bond.

“Everybody should be happy about saving money on their taxes. Realistically, the school district did our fiduciary duty to the taxpayers and got their taxes reduced and that is really what we are supposed to do,” Sweeney said.

Brian Hodge, superintendent, knows that reducing taxes, even a small amount, helps the families that are in his schools and all Brookings residents. “It’s trying to take care of our community,” he said.

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