This bond proposal was designed to be "tax rate neutral", meaning that the tax rate will not be raised as a result of this bond issue. Over the last few years the Board has been able to lower the tax rate by several cents, as the result of a favorable interest market and good stewardship of our resources. The Board may still be able to continue those rate reductions in the future, as a result of the continued build-out of commercial and residential property in the area, and also the continued good stewardship we can expect from the Board. It is also important to note that the real solution to tax refom lies in the State Legislature, and that there is an active plan to address this important topic. A change in the process of school funding at the state level will likely have the impact of lowering our local tax burden, but the end result remains to be seen.
It is also important to note that Allen ISD has exercised excellent stewardship over the years, and this has resulted in the 4th lowest tax rate in Collin County while maintaining some of the highest educational rankings available. The District also achieves the highest ranking available for financial management and transparency.
Your taxes are tied to the value of your property, which is set by the Collin County Appraisal District, not by Allen ISD. Those values will likely continue their recent rise as a result of our favorable economic climate and the substantial interest in Allen area real estate. As property values rise your total tax bill will go up, with or without this bond passing. The Board plans to manage the current and potential future debt load to make sure that the financial resources necessary to maintain our excellent schools and programs will continue. The debt that is proposed is manageable given the continued growth of property values in our District and the new construction that is appearing everywhere.
Our District has grown substantially over the past several years, and some growth in student population is expected into the future. We have built a vast complex of facilities to meet the needs of our growing district, and while this bond proposal does not contain any major new facilities, it will provide for the maintenance and renovation of our existing facilities for the next several years. Some of these maintenance items are not really optional, many of the maintenance issues are going to need attention whether the bond issue passes or not. Our District has a reputation of maintaining first class facilities to meet the needs of our student population, and this bond issue will allow us to continue to do that. Deferring maintenance does not make the needs go away, it simply makes addressing them eventually more expensive while impacting the quality of education during the deferral period. We all know what happens when we put off maintenance on our homes or cars, the repairs that ultimately cannot be deferred any longer are bigger than they would have been initially, and the breakdown that makes us finally fix things can (will) happen at the most inconvenient time.
The construction market in North Texas is booming. There is more work than there are qualified contractors to do the work. As a result of the supply and demand equation prices have been steadily increasing, and that trend is expected to continue. The prices reflected in the cost estimates for each project include a 10% year over year increase in the cost to execute the work. In other words a $100 project this year is estimated to cost $110 next year, $121 the following year, $133 the following year and so on. To estimate the cost with out this influence impact would be foolish, and would result in shortfalls for future projects or require not delivering the projects proposed / promised. The Board and the District have a history of doing what they promise, and the pricing of the proposal reflects a commitment to deliver all of the projects as promised.
The Project S.O.A.R. heard detailed presentations on every single element of the bond package. Complete details on what was required and proposed, how the costs were determined, and how efficiencies might be achieved were hammered out overs hours-long sessions and discussions. Site visits to see the scope and impact of the proposed work were held and detailed plans and processes were discussed. In the end the Project S.O.A.R. Committee assembled the final list of proposed projects and each component of the overall package was determined to stand on its own merit. Could we do without some of the items? Perhaps, but the overriding consensus of the Committee was that each element would have sufficient impact on the educational opportunities afforded our students that they should be included.
It is our hope that does not happen, but if it does the Board and the District will come up with an alternate plan to address the needs of the District while maintaining the same high quality educational opportunities and facilities we enjoy today. We need to stress that the needs covered by this bond package will not go away if defeated, we will simply have to craft another plan to meet those needs, or the community will have to decide that we will accept the best educational environment we choose to afford. Let's hope that is not what we have to contend with.
Allen ISD has the 4th lowest tax rate in Collin County and the Allen ISD Board of Trustees has lowered the tax rate each of the past five years.
The Allen ISD Board of Trustees cannot raise the tax rate without voter approval, they cannot raise the rate without an election.
The total taxes you pay are directly tied to the appraised value of your real property, and that value is not set by Allen ISD, it is set by the Collin Central Appraisal District.
Allen ISD is consistently awarded the highest rating available for financial management and transparency.
Allen ISD bonds are assigned one of the highest bond ratings by the financial community, reflecting the high degree of financial prudence and caution exhibited by Allen ISD. That rating translates into lower bond interest rates and saves the district money.
Allen ISD is consistently ranked at the highest levels of academic performance, with a graduation rate in excess of 97%, a completion rate over 99%, and over 20 National Merit Semifinalists.