Committee co-chair Julie Hinaman leads a January meeting of the long-range planning committee.
The Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees unanimously adopted an order Monday, Feb. 11, calling a bond election May 4 for a $1.762 billion bond referendum.
The bond money would be used to fund a new middle school, elementary school, instructional support center and performing arts center, among other initiatives. See the full proposal here.
CFISD’s long-range planning committee presented their final recommendation to the board Feb. 4. The total cost of the district’s needs was broken down into the following categories:
Instructional and support facilities: $258,208,345 Safety and security: $207,656,706 Transportation: $88,162,655 Technology: $238,980,763 Facility renovations and additions: $968,991,531
“Our committee truly believes that these are real needs in order to effectively address the safety and security of our students, the protection of our existing facilities, necessary improvements in technology and the continued growth of the Cypress area,” committee co-chair Julie Hinaman said at the Feb. 4 presentation.
District officials are conservatively projecting the bond’s passage would result in an incremental tax rate increase over time. However, Chief Financial Officer Stuart Snow said the 2014 bond referendum called for a similar increase, but the district ended up not needing to raise taxes.
Tax rate management strategies in the last five years have included refinancing previously-issued bonds, issuing variable rate bonds and selling bonds at lower fixed interest rates, Snow said.
“If the bond election is successful, we will continue to manage the tax rate as we have done in the past to limit the impact on the tax rate as bonds are sold over the five- to six-year period using the same strategy as we have done in the past,” Snow told Community Impact Newspaper.
Starting in 2021, the interest and sinking tax rate would incrementally increase by about 0.6 cents each year until 2025, when the total increase reaches 3 cents, Snow said. This would not affect homeowners over the age of 65 who have filed for additional exemptions.
Assuming tax rates are raised according to that plan, a homeowner with a $200,000 appraised home would pay $40.50 more in property taxes by 2025 than they paid in 2019, Snow said.
The committee—a group of about 50 parents, students, district staff, business leaders and community members—convened nine times from November through January to discuss projects that should be included in the recommendation to meet district needs through 2025.
Early voting runs April 22-30. Informational meetings will be held throughout the community from March 4-May 3, according to the district. Visit www.cfisd.net for more information.
Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.