Decatur Schools Bypass City Commission, Approve Loans For High School Expansion

Decaturish reports that the Decatur School Board unanimously approved borrowing $18 million in the form of Certificates of Participation last night to build additional classrooms and a new cafeteria.  Part of the money will also be used to plan for a Renfroe expansion.  As previously reported, CSD is using the elementary schools as collateral to secure the loans.

Also interestingly from Decaturish…

[CSD financial advisor Dianne] McNabb said the system would’ve likely received a better interest rate through a general obligation bond. City Commissioners in August voted unanimously to postpone putting a bond referendum on the ballot until November 2014.

McNabb said the reason for the higher interest rate is COPS financing is considered a higher risk.

83 thoughts on “Decatur Schools Bypass City Commission, Approve Loans For High School Expansion”


  1. I’m glad the school board moved forward with this since the city commission wasn’t responsive at all back in August. (And didn’t seem to “get it” or care all that much, actually.) So now there’s funding. But at a higher interest rate. City commissioners, thanks a lot!

  2. I haven’t had a chance to dig into the financial details, but I suspect that the overall interest is lower on an $18M loan – even at a higher rate – than on the proposed $65M GO bond.

    I, for one, am glad to see CSD scale back its capital project ambitions. Yes, we might not have the sterling facilities the $65M project contemplated, but I think that was overkill & would have accelerated any continued growth the system has over the coming years.

    1. do you think plans have scaled back? I’m interpreting this as phase 1 of 2 separate financings– the second financing being for Renfroe’s actual expansion (this phase 1 financing just provides money for the planning of that expansion). I’m betting phase 2 will get funded either by a GO Bond if the Commission agrees to acknowledge reality at CSD, or by another type of financing. Either way, the inability of CSD and the Commission to work together has cost all of the taxpayers. Have there been or are there any joint retreats/long meetings with the CSD Board & Sr. Staff and the Commission and Sr. City staff? There better be…

    2. macarolina is right, most of the GO bond request was for Renfroe work. I’d expect financing for that to come along soon. Renfroe is obviously the more urgent of the two situations, as the enrollment surge will hit there first.

      And the plans are hardly extravagant.

      The enrollment surge has already happened, and will impact grades 6-12 whether we build facilities or not. I don’t understand this thought process that, by refusing to do anything serious about it, we will keep it from happening.

  3. I’m conflicted. On the one hand, it’s such a beautiful relic of mid 20th Century concrete design. So Jetsons. On the other hand, I always felt uncomfortable walking under it. The structural design always seemed shaky to me: huge massive piece of mostly concrete hovering above high school students hanging out.

  4. I’ll remember the City Commission’s inability to grasp reality at the next election(s). Let’s hope that at least some of them run opposed. The project will be financed regardless, but it’s just a matter of what it will cost taxpayers in the end.

    1. It’s worth noting that at least some of the Commissioners (if not all) were contacted and lobbied pretty heavily by fixed income seniors who were concerned about: how extensive debt might impact their property taxes; and how new facilities might accelerate demand and redevelopment within neighborhoods, raising appraisals overall.

      I am not presently among that group but I don’t think their concerns fall outside the scope of “reality.” The Commissioners didn’t fail to grasp reality. I’d say they failed to prioritize some people’s reality over that of other people’s. Whether you see this as an abdication of duty depends on where you sit.

        1. Co-sign. The Commissioners (for a change) listened to the majority of their constituents, rather than the vocal minority of CSD parents whose tunnel vision tends to blinker their vision to anything that doesn’t relate to schools, schools, schools. Yes, our schools are an important part of our community, but they’re not the only (or even the most) important part. You’d never know that by reading some of the regular posters here.

          1. “Majority, minority.” We don’t know who’s in the majority here, and I believe the School Board’s request was for a referendum on a bond, which would have been a good way to measure. The Commission didn’t like that idea, so they proposed a “blue ribbon committee,” but that didn’t seem to happen either. The Commission has abandoned referenda on their own bonds, by the way. In any case, the “vocal minority” they specifically rebuffed were the elected officials of the School board.

            You don’t suppose there could be any connection in the Commission’s thinking to this, do you?
            http://www.decaturmetro.com/2013/12/16/decatur-preps-for-large-scale-annexation-as-creation-of-north-dekalb-cities-looms/
            Which, by the way, would cost MUCH more in CSD construction costs. God only knows how much.

            1. Judd, great points. CSD tried to make this an open and democratic process, but was blocked by the City Commissioners, who did not allow it to go to referendum.

              All of us here, whether we are supportive or skeptical of adding more school capacity, were denied the opportunity to be better informed, to have useful conversations, and to provide direct input into the decision, by our commissioners. So the end result is we are all getting spun up on this blog, while CSD moves forward with it’s own bond offering at higher interest rates. Our opportunity as residents and voters to influence this situation has dissolved.

              Take school enrollment out of the picture – this was a failure of our government and how it works, one we need to learn from and correct.

            2. Judd, you make some good points, but they still don’t change my main thrust: the majority of residents in COD do NOT have children in the CSD, and even though the school board are duly elected, you can bet most of the people voting for them are those who do have children in CSD–again, not the majority of City residents. And the majority of City residents, from all appearances, are becoming wary of the increasing tax burdens/costs of expansion of the schools. The school board basically pushed past the (elected) officials who represent ALL of us, not just the parents of CSD students.

              1. Cubalibre, I’m confused – are you taking issue with this recent development, where CSD moved forward to secure the $18 million in funding without anyone else’s approval? If so, what I’m saying (and I believe Judd is saying) is that this is a direct outcome of the City Commissioners not allowing the debt financing to be decided by referendum, or by themselves.

                Don’t take issue with CSD – they held a very open and transparent planning process and took the output from this to the City Commissioners, asking for them to put it before we, the people, for a vote. They didn’t push past everyone, they asked for permission. Your duly elected City Commissioners, who represent all of us, with or without children, shut down the vote on this.

              2. 1. Typically politicians avoid a referendum when they are NOT confident of majority sentiment, and in any case that’s the fairest measure of majority sentiment.

                2. I don’t think fewer people vote (only parents) for School Board than for City Commission, and in any case the School Board DOES in fact represent all of us. If folks without kids in CSD feel that the Board doesn’t represent them, that’s a shame; just as it would be a shame if folks with kids in CSD started feeling like the Commission was either clueless or indifferent to the well being of the school system.

                3. One of the most common myths in Decatur is that our higher taxes are due to the schools. It’s a majority of our tax bill, yes, but that’s true of DeKalb too. Our city services are both high quality and expensive, proportionally more expensive (last time I checked) than the schools compared to DeKalb. Worth it in my view but still, it’s factually incorrect to simply blame the schools. And if you don’t think we all have a stake in CSD, two words: property values.

                1. Two other words: crime rate. The family engagement, low drop out rate, and community cohesion that comes from a good school system that makes every student successful as they can be, whether they get an IB diploma or not, whether they go on to a technical school or college, whether they are an athlete or not, whether they have dyslexia, another learning disability, ADHD, an intellectual disability, or are gifted, or not, whether they are musical or artistic or not, whether they are socially popular or not, etc., will result in less teens and young adults on the street, engaging in illegal activity. It’s not cheap to be a school system that truly supports all students to reach their own individual potential vs. just meeting the minimum requirements of the law and state funding.

                2. I learned in Decatur 101, back in 2007/2008/2009 (somewhere in there), that 65 cents of every dollar of taxes is for CSD. Not sure if that number is still correct.

                  1. Please refer to the following and form your own opinion:
                    http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/taxcommissioner/pdf/Millage.pdf

                    Dekalb’s school millage rate is 23.98 on 40% of the assessed value of the property:
                    $100,000 * 0.40 * 0.02398 = $959.20 per $100K property value

                    Decatur’s school millage rate is 20.9 on 50% of the assessed value of the property.
                    $100,000 * 0.50 * 0.0209 = $1045.00 per $100K property value

                    Decatur’s schools currently cost an additional $85.80 per $100K of property value when compared to Dekalb.

                    Given the recent economic downturn and how Decatur’s properties retained their value while many home owners in neighboring areas watched their property values declined below what they owed on their mortgages… I would hope Decatur residents would value the return on investment they have received for their tax dollars. I do. High quality schools and city services have and continue to play a significant role in developing and sustaining our community.

      1. I would term those concerns as a denial of reality. Sorry.

        Our 2nd grade has twice as many students as our 12th grade. When those 2nd graders hit Renfroe and DHS we will lose state funding, unless we build more capacity (beyond trailers). This is not a case of attracting new students, it’s about dealing with the ones already in the pipeline.

        That’s the reality. And this reality means that these seniors (all of us, really) would pay either way – either in paying for new buildings, or picking up the lost state funding.

        It was a failure of our City Commissioners to both A) grasp the issue and B) lead, follow, or get out of the way. They remained uninformed, confused, paralyzed, and in the way, and now we will all pay.

        1. TR, you’ve mentioned several times the prospect of lost funding because of inadequate cafeteria, media center, etc. issues that are outside the issue of classroom or trailer capacity. Can you elaborate on exactly how much funding we’re talking about? Also, are those funds a hard yes/no, qualify or cut-off proposition or are they, in practical terms, more of a guide? For example, there are (what people considered to be firm) requirements related to number of school days or students in a class that have been shown to have flexibility based on need and/or changing circumstances.

          This seems to be a lynchpin factor in your position so I’d appreciate knowing more.

          1. Ha ha Scott – thinking together on this same vague point. If he knows it why, should any of us have to look it up?

            1. Sharron, that’s an example of ill-spirited piling on. Do your own research if you care that much. You might want to anyway, if TR came back with info you didn’t like and wanted to refute. Don’t be lazy. Or snide.

              1. I am never adverse to looking up things. Politicking in generalities is not what I like. Present the facts with supporting details and then I can verify.

                Not sure why I feel attacked by your comment CH. Maybe I was.

          2. I’m going on information that was provided at the numerous public information/input sessions that CSD performed last year. I don’t have the exact numbers or specifics, but am trying to introduce some key points and regulations that CSD is operating under, and which most here on DM are blissfully unaware.

            As a citizen who is concerned about all of this, I took the time to attend some of these sessions and learn more about it. And now I’m the one getting grief for it from the people who didn’t. Lesson learned.

            1. Is this a response to me, because I don’t read anything in my question that seems even remotely perceivable as “grief?” I thought I asked pretty respectfully, given the weight of the referenced funding in what you’ve been saying.

        2. Why don’t you post the GADOE facilities specifications mentioned more than once so others can chew the fat on the details? … The specs showing state funds are withheld for lack of supporting spaces as trailers are added for classrooms? The specs showing the breaking point?

          Thanks.

            1. Well, dang. As usual, more information just complicates things. This doc definitely spells out recommended facility specs, but it also has provisions for existing schools that reduces compliance levels and allows for waiver requests as well.

              As for funding, its only mention seems to suggest that any resulting loss or reduction of funding is funding associated with construction, not operations. So if I read that right, and we were unable to meet the reduced existing facilities requirements and were unable to secure a waiver, we would be subject to a loss of state funds for construction. Is that right? Given the millions being secured via bonds, how much of our construction budget is due to come from the state?

              Does anyone have information on how or if, for example, a media center that doesn’t meet recommended sizing would result in pulled or reduced operational funds?

              1. Scott, I don’t have the detailed info, but Google will surely help anyone with the time and inclination to find out more. I apologize if anyone assumed I was the voice of CSD here, I’m really just trying to add in a perspective that was informed by the CSD master plan process last year, and seems to be missing among the commenters on DM. I don’t have all the details, more of the general shape of the situation.

                Perhaps DM or Decaturish could talk to CSD and get the information documented and distributed? I think we’d all agree this is potentially a huge issue for our city going forward, and it’s clear that we all need more info.

                1. “I think we’d all agree this is potentially a huge issue for our city going forward, and it’s clear that we all need more info.”

                  I agree totally, TR, and that’s what I was trying to get to. I invested a couple hours last night to Googlin’ and (though I concede I might simply suck at Googlin’), I was unable to find anything suggesting that per-pupil funding is reduced in any way as it relates to facilities size. There were certainly standards and rules associated with the construction and renovation of facilities and the degree to which construction funding can be reduced or eliminated if they’re not met. All that led me to question exactly how much state construction funding we’re expecting to receive (i.e. budgeting in the context of our plans). It would seem to me that if we need to borrow tens of millions of dollars to build things, then the amount coming from the state can’t be extensive. But that’s just assumption on my part. Gotta dig down CSD numbers, which I haven’t seen previously.

                  I wasn’t trying to pile on. But if it’s a key factor in why certain renovation expenditures are required, I need to understand it better.

        3. Ditto Scott’s and Sharron’s questions.

          In a way, classrooms are kind of like highway lanes — keep chasing capacity and you’ll simply continue to stimulate demand, so you’ll never stay ahead of it. Meanwhile, your lovely small school system won’t be small any more. For that reason, applying some of the over-arching principles behind road diets to schoolhouses makes a certain amount of sense to me. That being said, it is indeed foolish to give up a single nickel of state funding unless it’s worthwhile in the overall picture. Hence, the need for more specific information about that.

        4. PS – I’ve said before that the facilities expansion costs are not our biggest concern. The ongoing cost to educate 2-3X as many students as we did 8 years ago, with roughly the same size of population, means we will all pay higher taxes whether we build or not. The instructional budget could be going up $15-30 million per year – where’s that money coming from?

          1. Instead of answering our question, more financial predictions of a general nature are tossed out. Not a way to make a good point.

            1. It isn’t TR’s job to answer these questions. It is the Commissioners, who have punted on this. Last year they were unable to answer the simple question “If the referendum passes, how much will taxes go up?”

              1. Dawgfan, please don’t try to referee this conversation. Scott respectfully asked TeeRuss to elaborate on a position he took. Sharron and I chimed in and perhaps made it seem (unintentionally) like we were piling on. But the original question was valid and reasonable and I hope will elicit more specifics from TR or anyone else.

                    1. I live here. This affects me. I added my opinion, and you told me not to. So, yes, really. And I am still of the opinion that the commissioners better be prepared to answer these questions if CSD again requests a bond referendum to move forward.

                1. And I am not trying to referee. TR can take care of himself. Besides, TR already answered the question: “I’m going on information that was provided at the numerous public information/input sessions that CSD performed last year. I don’t have the exact numbers or specifics, but am trying to introduce some key points and regulations that CSD is operating under, and which most here on DM are blissfully unaware.”

                  But, the point is that the commissioners need to get involved. They punted last year and haven’t done a damn thing since. This issue isn’t going away, but, at least publicly, they aren’t part of the solution.

                  1. The specific issue under discussion in this passage of this thread is the assertion that CSD will lose state funding if facilities are not enlarged. The questions posed are, how much funding and what are the particulars of the eligibility for that funding. The City Commission is not in a position to answer those questions, nor are they obligated to do so. If the potential (or certain) loss of state funding figures in the school system’s pitch for expanding facilities, then the school system and/or whoever is advocating for that expansion should be prepared to educate the rest of us about it.

                    1. CSD did its job last year. It presented the justification for the referendum to the City Commission. Many, myself included, thought CSD could/should have handled it better. But, IMO, the Commissioners didn’t do their job. They wanted a way out, and they found it.

                    2. Deanne, IMO there’s no question the City Commission (as a body and individually) has an obligation to understand the situation and the alternatives on the table. At the same time, it would behoove CSD and its champions in the community–the latter, maybe even more–to tone down the rhetoric and focus on making the case. Harping on the view that the City Commission is dropping the ball, ducking the issue, doing a horrible job, etc. may or may not be rooted in truth. I can say with confidence that it does not constitute a compelling case for taking on the level of financial obligation under discussion. Nor do comments and arguments that simply dismiss the perspectives of childless households and/or anyone who simply isn’t convinced yet. That stuff is what I find annoying and lacking in credibility, and I don’t think I’m alone.

                    3. smalltowngal, I don’t disagree with your thinking, but I also get folks’ exasperation. And since we’ve recently witnessed the City respond more to the loudest folks, rather than the more pressing needs, there’s that to consider too.

                      I’ll throw it out into the internet again: Sure wish we could get an update on how the blue ribbon committee’s efforts are coming along.

                    4. STG, do you even realize you contradict yourself, and your answers vary whenever your fixation on me rears it ugly head? Below are quotes from consecutive posts.

                      To me: “The City Commission is not in a position to answer those questions, nor are they obligated to do so.”

                      To Deanne: “IMO there’s no question the City Commission (as a body and individually) has an obligation to understand the situation and the alternatives on the table”

                      I am not “harping” on the City Commission as an argument for or against the referendum. I want them to get involved, to educate themselves on the issue and be able to answer consituents’ questions. Based on what I have read, CSD’s $18mm bond is at best a band-aid and more will need to be done, sooner rather than later.

                    5. I can’t agree enough with your 4/2 10:55 pm statement, especially this part: “…comments and arguments that simply dismiss the perspectives of childless households and/or anyone who simply isn’t convinced yet. That stuff is what I find annoying and lacking in credibility, and I don’t think I’m alone.” Indeed, you are not, and I grow weary of people who act as if the childless householders couldn’t care less about the education of COD kids–of course we do, but we don’t want to die bankrupt to do it.

                2. I’m glad you’re still “here”. You always seem to have thoughtful comments whether you’re still a city resident or not.

                  1. Thanky. I try to think before I hit ‘send.’ I was a staunch supporter of CSD during my 14 years in Decatur (including my fair share of hours in a hard chair at school board meetings). Not paying cash into the enterprise any more, but some of my closest friends have kids in the system from 1st grade through high school. So I’m still very invested in how things go.

                    1. What InStitches said. You’re still an honorary Decaturite, having put more time in here than most of the posters on this blog (myself included, unless you count the years I lived in postal Decatur 🙂 ).

                3. Perhaps it’s the medium, maybe I was in a bad mood, but I definitely perceived that you guys wanted to argue and challenge me rather than honestly pursue discourse and information.

                  So let’s put all that aside and stop making this topic personal. I’ll try to make sure my tone is helpful and not snide. Deal?

            2. I honestly wasn’t trying to redirect, and I have tried to add this into the conversation every time it comes up. We’ve got a serious budgetary impact coming whether we build more capacity or not – it costs Decatur taxpayers about $7k to educate each student, and with enrollment going from ~2,800 (3-4 years ago) to over 6,000 (projected 2017 I think) we’ve got an annual cost that adds up to a lot more than the one-time facilities costs.

      2. Scott, that’s an interesting perspective. I’m not sure if/how the commissioners were contacted and lobbied b/c they essentially claimed (at the August 2013 joint meeting) that that was the first they – or their constituents – had heard about the need to accommodate (as in build for) more students. Given that overcrowding had been a constant message from the school system – and that the system had held numerous enrollment meetings to talk about the problem and potential solutions – I had no idea how the commission could claim such cluelessness without blushing.

        Patti Garrett was the only one who talked about concern for the fixed income seniors, primarily in her neighborhood (Oakhurst). She didn’t talk so much about their comments to her but about her concerns for them in general. And she actually said, “This is the first I’m hearing about this issue and a potential bond referendum.” If that’s true – what a terrible job she’s doing.

        And guess what? When those seniors were in school as youngsters, someone else paid taxes so they could attend school. Presumably older ppl. Plus, the seniors are eligible for various tax breaks as a result of their age. We all pay taxes. We pay it forward. That’s how a civilized society works.

        1. “And guess what? When those seniors were in school as youngsters, someone else paid taxes so they could attend school. Presumably older ppl. Plus, the seniors are eligible for various tax breaks as a result of their age. We all pay taxes. We pay it forward. That’s how a civilized society works.”

          CH, how do you reconcile this with your anti-annexation stance?

        2. Here is the link to COD tax breaks for seniors: http://www.decaturga.com/index.aspx?page=681. The short version is, at 65 you get $1,000 off the appraised value of your property, at 70 you get a $50,000 exemption. All other exemptions depend on income, from $10K to $40K a year, and some of the income limits include Social Security.

          1. OK, so looking at this link further I see no reason for fixed income seniors to worry about their taxes. Unless, the exemptions get changed, which probably won’t happen.
            Also, I learned if you live in COD without children and are younger than 62 then you make too much money. Death and taxes,
            That’s Number Wang.

            1. The exemptions are 1) very small until age 70; 2) have low maximum income levels; 3) waiting until age 80 to get the maximum break depletes retirement savings. Not really a cheery prospect.

              1. Thank you for pointing this out. COD’s tax “breaks” aren’t really much to speak of when they’d count the most.

                1. I still want to contribute as a senior, to support the school system. It’s a main draw to any community and thus its health impacts the community’s wealth (not just financial wealth). I also get great benefits from many other city departments and perks.

                  When seniors retire the income usually comes down. I’m guessing that’s between 50% and 80% of original income based on pension and investments. To me the tax obligation should be a reflection of that reduced income rather than a set figure as currently used.

                  Anyone familiar with a locale that computes exemptions in this way?

                  1. “Anyone familiar with a locale that computes exemptions in this way?”

                    They are all bankrupt.

                  2. When seniors retire the income usually comes down. I’m guessing that’s between 50% and 80% of original income based on pension and investments. To me the tax obligation should be a reflection of that reduced income rather than a set figure as currently used.

                    _____________________

                    That seems odd because the taxes at issue simply are not income taxes.

                    Moreover, seniors as a group are actually quite wealthy, though of course exceptions exist. They’re at an age where they have paid off their homes and other debt, have no children living at home, have had entire careers to save, and are collecting pensions and/or social security. So even if their income — as opposed to assets, a much more relevant test of wealth — is somewhat lower, that income is being stretched over a much smaller pool of expenses.

                    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for lower taxes. But I’ve never understood the idea that seniors should pay less because they’re seniors.

                    1. I wasn’t speaking about income taxes; although, it is the tax filing forms that are submitted annually to validate any senior exemptions approved.

                    2. Sharron, I think DEM was trying to say you should be. Property taxes are assessed based on the value of one’s home, not income. Income taxes vaey with one’s income, not the value of assets.

                    3. Yes, DF, thanks. I meant it’s odd to say one should pay less in property taxes because of a decline in income. Property taxes do not have all that much to do with income.

                    4. I’m assuming this is because valuing seniors and taking steps to help them stay in their homes is something that happens at the community level and communities (typically) have no control over income taxes. Property tax just ends up being something with broad applicability that can be fairly easily manipulated — should members of a community choose — to create a benefit for seniors (or anyone else, for that matter).

  5. I have been staying out of this thread because others seem to know so much more about what CSD and the Commission have and haven’t done. But here’s my take on seniors: anyone who makes it to 90 and above deserves to not worry about much of anything at all. It’s more than enough to concentrate on breathing, remembering, and not falling and cracking bones that are not going to repair themselves anymore. So whatever tax structure is set up, it should go easy on the nonagenarians. If they are anything but wealthy, let’s leave them alone. If they are wealthy, let’s tax them in the least taxing manner, pun intended. Maybe one could have the option to pay a one-time lifetime property tax at age 90 and then never again. If they only live another year, the government makes out like a bandit. If they live to age 103, they do.

      1. Oh, gosh I don’t know. More wealth than I have? Enough so that a 90 year old can afford pretty much whatever they are still physically able to do? In the top 1% nationally? This is why I am not an economist, political scientist, world leader, or God. I’m not good at judging wealth nor am I interested. It’s unlikely that I will ever be wealthy so I leave it to others to worry about.

        I just think that nonagenarians should be spared tax worries, whether they be in terms of ability to pay or the ability to deal with the hassle of paying.

        1. I wasn’t trying to box you in (“NO ONE puts Baby in a corner!), but your response perfectly illustrates the concept that wealth varies by individual perception.

          I make considerably more than my brother, who views me as wealthy (I don’t). I have a friend who makes several times my salary, and I consider him wealthy (he doesn’t). So the line can’t be drawn; thus, determining a property tax based upon perceived wealth is futile.

          I also have to politely take issue with an age cutoff. Some at 70 may be in the same boat as others at 90. Every individual is different, so basing property tax relief on a certain age may benefit some and leave out others who need it more.

          1. I picked 90 because:
            1) I saw age 65 and 70 cutoffs and thought–hey where’s the credit for becoming octagenarians and nonagenerians?
            2) I figured that pretty much everyone over age 90 has enough going on physically and mentally to deserve a break. Although I do get your point that a 26 year old with terminal cancer and crappy health insurance may be needier than a spry, wealthy 90 year old. But in my family of women who live forever, I noticed that even those spry at age 90 are doing pretty poorly by age 95. A 25 year old has a low risk of dying in the next 20 years. A 90 year old has a 100% risk.

            I still like my idea of a lifetime membership option for paying taxes. The probabilities hurt my head so I’m not working out the details but the general idea would be that, at any age, there’s an option to pay a lump sum tax amount once and then never again. Obviously that amount would be astronomically high for young people and not so high for a 96 year old, but always higher than the annual tax amount. On the other hand, maybe it would be more useful to spend my time on worrying about how CSD and COD leadership could collaborate better given their different missions, professional cultures, and funding structures.

  6. If I were designing the criteria, the number of years of paying into one system (county or city) would play a role in determining eligibility for reductions or exemptions from school taxes. (Maybe it already does; I’m ignorant about much of these details).

    1. Makes sense. I don’t think that’s currently the case. Although you have to be careful. When California had Prop 10 freezing property taxes so that no one wanted to move officially, it created some real bizarre business conditions, especially for real estate.

      1. Of course it shouldn’t be the only part of the formula. But I would not allow exemptions based on age alone, either.

Comments are closed.