What is a bond?
Similar to homeowners borrowing money in the form of a mortgage, a school district borrows to finance the design, construction, expansion and renovation of school facilities. General obligation bonds carry the lowest possible interest rates and are the least costly form of financing available. Bonds must be approved by voters, and state law prohibits using bond funds for salaries or other on-going expenses. Canyons District’s AAA bond rating ensures that our residents receive the best available interest rates, sparing taxpayers millions of dollars. Rising home values have helped Canyons District pay down its bond debt more quickly than projected, and keep its bonds tax-rate-neutral.
Why is Canyons bonding?
When Canyons District was created, most of the buildings we inherited from Jordan School District were aging and in need of safety upgrades and renovation. With proceeds from a $250 million bond approved by voters in 2010, the District has addressed many top-priority improvement projects. But an estimated $342 million in upgrades remain, according to a recent facilities assessment. To continue momentum in building safe, modern facilities for our students, the Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 endorsed a plan to seek voter approval of a $283 million, tax-rate-neutral bond on the Nov. 7 ballot.
What is the amount of this bond?
The proposed bond is for $283 million, and is tax-rate-neutral, which means it would not increase property taxes. It will be issued in phases over 4-6 years, and each issuance will be paid off over 20 years.
What will the money be used for?
All of the bond money would be used to improve schools. Six schools would be rebuilt, one new school would be constructed to accommodate growth, and one school would be significantly remodeled. In addition, the bond would pay to remodel front offices at six elementary schools and to install windows and skylights for natural lighting at 18 elementary schools.
|Project||Year Opened||Est. Cost|
|Rebuild Brighton High||1969||$87M|
|Rebuild Hillcrest High||1962||$85M|
|Rebuild Union Middle School||1968||$45M|
|Remodel Alta High||1978||$38.5M|
|Rebuild Midvalley Elementary||1957||$20M|
|Rebuild Peruvian Park Elementary||1964||$20M|
|Rebuild a White City-area elementary||$20M|
|Build a West Draper Elementary School||$20M|
|Build classrooms at Corner Canyon High to replace portables||$4.5M|
|*Six elementary office upgrades||$2.7M|
|Eighteen elementary natural lighting upgrades||$3.1M|
*Remodel offices at Brookwood, Granite, Oakdale, Park Lane, Silver Mesa, and Sunrise elementary schools
How will this bond impact property taxes?
The bond will not raise property taxes as the tax rate will remain the same. How is this possible?
1- Growth in new residences and businesses have contributed to rising property values.
2- As old bonds are paid off (primarily those inherited from the former Jordan School District) new bonds will be issued in layers so as not to impact taxpayers.
3- Canyons School District has a AAA bond rating, which is comparable to a perfect personal credit score. This enables the District to borrow at lower interest rates.
Note: If the district did not seek a bond, property taxes likely would decrease. However, we would be unable to meet the needs of an aging District. Twenty-one of our buildings are over 40 years old with some inching toward the 60-year mark.
Why don’t you handle upgrades on a pay-as-you-go basis?
The most recent analysis of the District’s school buildings revealed approximately $342 million in seismic and other safety upgrade needs. We don’t have the resources to address those needs while keeping up with ongoing maintenance — and bonding is the least expensive way to get ahead of deferred needs now. Interest rates are rising, and construction costs are rising at an annual average rate of 5 percent.
When will these schools be built, in which order?
The Board of Education has not yet determined the order in which these projects will be undertaken. The Board has stressed that all projects are a priority, and has committed to complete all of them.
When is the election?
Canyons District’s bond comes up for a vote during the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Here is a list of important voter dates and deadlines:
- OCT. 10 — Last day for mail-in voter registration
- OCT. 17 — Absentee and mail-in ballots sent to all voters
- OCT. 23 — Registration deadline for in-person early voting
- OCT. 24 — In-person early voting begins
- OCT. 31 — Last day to register online to vote
- NOV. 3 — In-person early voting ends
- NOV. 7 — Election Day
Link to polling places:
How to vote by mail?
Where can I find more information?
Information is available at every one of our school buildings, as well as at bond.canyonsdistrict.org.
Why isn’t my school on the priorities list?
The Board of Education wanted to maximize bond funds without drastically affecting taxpayers, and ensure families in all parts of the District would benefit from the facilities-improvement plan. It considered factors including seismic and safety issues, and facility age and condition.