Bond Referendums and Property Tax Levies for Dummies

A Referendum is a legal matter that is put up to a vote by the people. Bonds are loans that are given by the government. School Districts are usually allowed to take smaller bonds to use for care and maintenance of the school properties, however this borrowing is usually limited to a small percentage (7-8) of the total value of the districts property. When the district needs a larger amount of money for a large expense( i.e. a new building, concert hall, field house) they need to hold a referendum (public vote) on whether the community thinks it is a good plan. The burden of repaying the loan is put upon the taxpayers in the district through property tax levies.

The following link is a list of questions on a school website in a district considering a Bond

Property Tax Levies are taxes charged on property that are used to improve the community, including parks, schools, community colleges and other things of that nature. Districts can present requests to increase property taxes to a vote by the citizens it would affect, again for improvements to the school and/or district. This money is always there, there can be increases and decreases (by voting) in order to provide for their needs.

A pdf of the distribution of the property tax in a typical School District.

With both the residents end up paying back through increased taxes. The main responsibility lies with the district officials making a good presentation of the benefit and necessity of the funds. These provide a large portion of the money needed by districts in significant improvements and changes in the district.