April 14, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Blue Valley dodges questions about taxes ahead of bond issue

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School districts routinely ask voters to approve hundreds of millions in new bond issue debt with the promise that it won’t cost them anything.  But there is always a cost that district officials obscure because taxes would decline if no new debt is undertaken.  USD 229 Blue Valley is running that deception with taxpayers now and is refusing to say how much property taxes would go down for district residents if a proposed bond issue fails.

On Jan. 11 the Blue Valley school district mailed out ballots for a $251 million bond issue.

According to a flier sent out by the district, the project would build a new middle school, new gyms to the High School, build new “multipurpose” additions at the middle school, and provide a number of other “targeted” improvements — all without raising taxes.

The Sentinel also asked exactly how much property taxes would decrease if the bond fails — which Bruto has refused to answer, stating only “The Blue Valley Board of Education would have to make this decision in September 2023, factoring in potential plans for another possible Bond referendum.”

When pressed about how many mills of the current levy would sunset when the current debt retires, Bruto simply said that if “Bond 2023 passes, new bonds would tentatively be issued in May 2023. No existing bond principal would be retired before this date.”

The Sentinel again asked how many mills of the current levy are used to service the retiring bonds.

Bruto has not responded to that email.

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