Borrowing plan rejected in Gavin District 37

  • A proposal to borrow money for building improvements in Gavin Elementary District 37 is being rejected by voters Tuesday.

      A proposal to borrow money for building improvements in Gavin Elementary District 37 is being rejected by voters Tuesday. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/20/2018 8:25 PM

Gavin Elementary District 37 voters are rejecting a ballot proposal to borrow money to help fund life-safety and other building improvements for years to come.

With all eight precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial totals show the District 37 referendum question received 571 "no" votes and 486 "yes" votes. Those totals don't include early votes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

District 37 officials asked voters to approve a request to establish a "debt service extension base" of $500,000, starting in 2018 and running for "all subsequent levy years." That would've enabled the district to sell bonds without going to referendum, but limited the principal and interest it could levy against taxpayers to repay those bonds. Bond sales and repayment would've been capped at $500,000 annually for 20 years.

Officials said approval would've enabled the Ingleside-area district to sell $5.96 million in bonds for work at Gavin Central Elementary and Gavin South Middle School, including work on roofs and parking lots, heating and air conditioning systems. Opponents argued that the district really wanted a "revolving line of credit." They said the ballot question did not include a total amount the district was borrowing or when the borrowing would end.

An existing bond issue would've been paid off, so approval would've meant no change in the debt service rate. But with voters rejecting the measure, the owner of a house valued at $100,000 is due to see property taxes fall by $85 annually.

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