Bond Campaign


bondOn May 7, 2019, Lawton Community Schools voters will consider a $4.5 million bond proposal for renovations to Lawton Elementary School.

The Board of Education and Administration have been engaged in a facility assessment process of the elementary campus since the summer of 2016. The basis for that work has been a Facility Assessment conducted by Tower Pinkster architects who identified several areas at the elementary campus that were in poor condition and in need of renovation. The main wings of the elementary building were built in 1954 and 1962. The wear and tear of 60+ years of use is visible in many areas. The original estimates called for approximately $7.8 million to bring the building up to an acceptable standard.

Much of the Board’s analysis has focused on how best to meet our facility needs in a manner that is responsible to taxpayers. In December of 2017, the district approved a QZAB project that has addressed lighting upgrades across the district and also a new HVAC system at the elementary school. This work is nearly complete. The QZAB project allowed the district to borrow $2.44 million dollars at zero interest payable over a 15 year term. Choosing this option for a significant portion of the renovation project has allowed the Board to reduce the bond funds needed from the original $7.8 million to the $4.5 reflected in the bond proposal.

A successful bond issue would allow:

  • A new, secure entrance also on the east side of the building. The new entrance would require all visitors to enter a secure foyer before being allowed access to the building. This secure, single point of entry would greatly enhance the overall safety of the building.
  • Relocation of the main and guidance offices to the east side of the building. The new office would significantly increase the size of the office and the ability to provide adequate service to students, staff, and visitors.
  • Renovation of the current office and entry spaces into a large room that would better meet the program and service needs of our Special Education students.
  • Resurfacing of a majority of the building roof areas.
  • Demolition of the three-story former middle and high school building. This building has sections built in 1915 and 1930. Maintaining the unoccupied floors of this building is simply not a good use of funds.
  • Designated spaces for programs currently housed in the three story building. (Daycare and Alternative Education)
  • Upgraded restrooms throughout the building with main restrooms brought up to ADA standards.
  • Minor improvements to classroom finishes, flooring, and furniture.
  • Replacement of many interior and exterior doors.
  • A new fire alarm system.

If approved, the bond proposal would levy an additional 0.5 mils on assessed properties. This additional millage would bring the total millage for school debt to 9.6 mils. Based on conservative taxable value estimates, this millage rate would remain in place through 2032. It would then drop to 2.09 mils in the following year and then to zero in 2033.

The Board of Education and Bond Steering Committee considered many bonding options before settling on the 0.5 mil increase. A home with a taxable value of $100,000 would see an annual increase of $50. Some might ask, ‘why not just extend the current millage rate?’ Doing so would result in approximately $700,000 in additional interest paid by taxpayers over the term of the bond. Although the 0.5 mil increase will result in a slight annual increase to annual property taxes, the interest saved provides a more responsible long-term approach to funding the renovation project.

Frequently asked questions about this bond proposal.

Questions, comments and concerns are always welcomed and should be directed to Superintendent Chris Rice at 624-7901 or crice@lawtoncs.org.

District’s tax calculator for the upcoming election:

http://www.pfmtaxcalc.com/LawtonCommunitySchools

This website will estimate the impact on a taxpayer’s annual tax bill if the bond election is successful, which could potentially be offset by the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit.  Below is a summary of the revised Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit:

Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit – Households that pay homestead property taxes greater than 3.2% of their annual income may also be eligible for the Michigan’s Homestead Property Tax Credit.  Eligible households may deduct up to 60% (up to 100% for senior citizens, please see the senior credit table below) of the millage increase cost up to a $1,500 Homestead Tax Credit limit.  The eligibility for the credit begins to decrease after household income exceeds $51,001 and ends completely after the household income exceeds $60,001.  Please see below the general reduction table and senior credit table below:

General Credit Reduction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior Credit

Resources

% of credit

Resources

% Credit

$51,000

100.00%

$21,000

100%

$51,001

90.00%

$21,001

96%

$52,001

80.00%

$22,001

92%

$53,001

70.00%

$23,001

88%

$54,001

60.00%

$24,001

84%

$55,001

50.00%

$25,001

80%

$56,001

40.00%

$26,001

76%

$57,001

30.00%

$27,001

72%

$58,001

20.00%

$28,001

68%

$59,001

10.00%

$29,001

64%

$60,001

0.00%

$30,001

60%