Voters in the Andover School District will have the opportunity to lower their property taxes by voting down two bond issues that will appear on a May 9 mail-in ballot. The first ballot question will ask voters whether they approve of a $168.8 million bond issue to tear down a high school and build a new one, add storm shelters at several district schools, secure entrances, build a new elementary school, and enhance district athletic facilities.
District officials are touting the bond issue as a no tax increase bond, because a ‘yes’ vote wouldn’t result in a tax increase. However, a vote against could translate into a property tax break for homeowners and commercial property owners in the district.
A second bond issue, which will appear on the same special election ballot, seeks approval for $19.8 million to build a swimming pool, add artificial turf to baseball and softball fields and a new career and technology center. If voters approve the second bond issue, their property taxes will increase by 2.3 mills, or about $39 per year for the owner of a $150,000 home.
Because the Andover School District is considered property poor by the state of Kansas, all taxpayers in the Sunflower State would be on the hook for part of the Andover bond issue–though only Andover district voters will have a say on the proposal at the ballot box. All Kansans would fund 24 percent of the Andover bond issue through bond and interest aid. The statewide aid would continue throughout the life of the project, provided an annual calculation continues to show that the Andover School District is ‘poor.’