Education

Verifying the Bond Numbers

“From a business perspective, a bond package passage is a positive. It tells prospective businesses and families that the area is ready to invest in the community,” said Oklahoma County Assessor Larry Stein.

LPS Bond Proposal 2019
Rendering of bond proposal provided by the architect.

Luther voters decide Tuesday whether to approve a $24 million bond issue for several projects for each school.

Oklahoma County Assessor Larry Stein

Stein, who was sworn into the Assessor’s post last week after the November election,  pointed to growth in Oklahoma County and said Luther is likely the next big area for growth. Stein looked at the  numbers and said the tax increase tables provided by Luther Public Schools look accurate for the life of the bond. He broke it down, saying for a $100,000 value, the tax would be $8.83.

He also said because there is a smaller pool of taxpayers in the school district, compared to Oklahoma City, each taxpayer pays more. He said in Oklahoma City, there might be 10,000 houses to spread out the cost of a bond debt. Luther is less populated, he said. But with population growth, the burden will get spread out, and he said the bond could get paid off more quickly that the 13 years to pay off the debt.

Another factor is the building of the turnpike south of Luther. While the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has taken property off of the LPS ad valoremrolls when it acquired land down along Luther Road southward to build the road. Speculation says that property values in the area might rise because of the new high speed road that connects I-40 to I-44. Rumors and early talk is rumbling about a “north loop” of another turnpike to connect I-44 to I-35, cutting through more LPS land. That is pure speculation at this point.

Republican Stein said the bond payback is also connected to property value. If property value increase, property taxes rise and a bond can be paid off more quickly. On the flip side, he also said property values could dip causing property owners to shoulder more of a burden.

Have you checked your property value lately? Is it going up or down?

We also talked to the State Bond Advisor today about the Luther Bond Proposal’s selection of an architect and contractor prior to the election and without a bidding process. Andrew Messer, State Bond Advisor and also Deputy State Treasurer, said the state has no oversight at the local level over bond issues, but that IRS has “reimbursement resolutions” rules for expenses incurred before a bond issue.

He said the problem would be if the bond doesn’t pass and the district encumbered expenses and won’t have a way to pay. But the bond advisor, architect and contractors will not be paid if the bond doesn’t pass, Gunn has said.

The polls open Tuesday at 7 am and close at 7 pm, Tuesday. Go to your usual voting precinct, there are nine for the Luther School District. To find out your voting registration and precinct, click here.  

For approval, yes votes must be a super majority, at 60%. Both sides of the campaign encourage all voters to cast a ballot.

The Luther Register will provide election results.

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3 Comments

  1. Do you know what ‘value’ Mr. Stein is referring to in his example of $100,000? The amount of $8.83 seems too low for that example using the approximate 9.93% increase the bond documents indicate.

      1. I think I figured it out. If the market valuation is $100,000, the assessed would be approximately $11,000, and the proposed tax increase of 9.93% would be approximately $109.23, resulting in an approximate MONTHLY increase (in my calculation) of $9.10. So, I am off a bit. I don’t have the exact calculation he used, but it is close.

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