A large factor in our school district’s success is the support its stakeholders provide. Parents and volunteers are deeply involved, and taxpayers willingly support facility expenditures (though perhaps not demolishing a fully functional, air-conditioned, neighborhood elementary school). I take no issue with supporting warranted school improvements. This upcoming bond is different.
A statistic bond proponents cite frenetically is our district’s tax rate being the lowest among comparable districts in Iowa. That is true. However, what they conveniently ignore is our district’s own data showing that we already have the highest assessed values among those same districts. These two factors go hand in hand in determining total tax paid. Pile that onto the 5 to 25 percent value increases inexplicably assessed for the coming tax cycle and you have a tax hike surpassing the rose-colored cost the bond proponents espouse ad nauseam.
Approving this pitifully vague bond achieves one thing for sure: holding future (perhaps unborn) taxpayers liable through 2042. In an era where we strive to retain Iowa talent, raising the cost of living achieves the opposite. I chose to invest in my hometown after graduating from West High and the University of Iowa. The same cannot be said for future ICCSD or UI grads when facing a tax liability of this magnitude. Vote no Sept. 12. Send the district a message. Make administrators come back with smaller, more focused bond referenda.