Guilford County Commissioners Chairman Skip Alston said this week that the Guilford County school system needs every penny of the proposed referendum on the $ 1.7 billion school bond that he and many ‘others want to see it appear on the ballot in March 2022.
He said schools needed the money in addition to the $ 300 million county voters approved for Guilford County schools in November 2020.
“We spent $ 900,000 on a study to find out what the needs of schools are – so of course we’re going to listen to that study,” Alston said, adding that the assessed needs of the school system are huge after decades of under funding.
Alston said that at some point before the end of the current fiscal year (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022), Guilford County planned to sell bonds to raise $ 180 million of the $ 300 million. approved by voters in 2020. In fiscal year 2022-2023, the president said, Guilford County will sell $ 120 million – the remainder of that $ 300 million – and give that money to schools as and when as the invoices for the projects come in.
Alston said hopefully by the time $ 300 million is raised, schools will still have $ 1.7 billion in reserve. He said he expected voters to approve the $ 1.7 billion school bond referendum next year.
When the Council of Commissioners recently approved to move forward with writing “up to $ 1.7 billion” on the ballot next year for schools, several commissioners indicated that the number real would probably be less than that. Now, however, it looks like the entire $ 1.7 billion will be on the ballot.
Alston said he was confident constituents in the county could be persuaded to approve the upcoming bond referendum, and added that the county will be able to repay the debt using an additional $ 56 million per year. that a county-wide real estate reassessment will bring in 2022 for the next county. budgetary.
Alston said he also hopes constituents in the county will approve a sales tax increase that will be on the ballot along with the school bond referendum. He said new sources of income would also help tremendously.
The president added that in the first few years after the issuance of the $ 1.7 billion bond, the financial burden on the county will not be that great, as it will take some time to launch many projects. He noted that the annual debt payment of the $ 1.7 billion would peak at $ 45 million in the years to come.