BOURBON – Triton School Board heard an update on the school corporation’s tax rate and information on possible general obligation bond scenarios.
Sean McGill, manager with Baker Tilly, said in the fourth quarter of 2023, the school corporation reached out to Baker Tilly because the 2023 and 2024 tax rate “took a little bit of a dip” relative to where they had been in recent years.
Baker Tilly took a look at the school corporation’s existing debt profile. There are two series of bonds currently outstanding, one of which fully matures in a couple years.
“Any time there’s a bond that’s rolling off and maturing, there’s a step down in those combined annual payments. That provides the school corporation an opportunity, perhaps, to undertake a capital financing with minimal tax break impact. When I say impact, I really mean increase over existing or prior rates,” he said.
Two scenarios were put together for Triton. The first scenario included an 80 cent tax rate for the first rate and 84 cent tax rate for the second scenario.
For both scenarios, “We assume a general obligation bond amount of $1,850,000.” McGill said Baker Tilly came to that amount by looking at Triton’s general obligation bond capacity, which is a calculation that is embedded in state statute. After the school corporation makes its July payment on its current general obligation bonds, the capacity is just over $1,850,000.
The repayment terms Baker Tilly assumed are three years for the 84 cent scenario and four years for the 80 cent scenario. The interest rate is calculated at $240,000 for the 84 cent tax rate and $290,000 for the 80 cent tax rate.
McGill said Baker Tilly is assuming the general obligation bonds would be issued in the fall when the 2025 assessed value information is available. When the assessed value number is known, “We know the exact number of payment needed to arrive at whatever total tax rate you’d like,” McGill said. He said if Triton wants to issue general obligation bonds before the AV number is known, the school corporation can work off estimates.
McGill provided tax rate numbers of area school corporations to the Triton School Board, which included 2023 rates. He said in 2024, Triton’s tax rate decreased to about 76 cents, which made Triton on the lower end of school tax rates in the area. McGill said the total average school tax rate statewide last year was $1.05.
There was no board action Monday.
Superintendent Jeremy Riffle said, after the meeting, Triton is still prioritizing projects it can use the general obligation bond money on.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the purchase of 220 Chromebooks from Tafera for $60,940.
• Learned Thursday will be a delayed start to school due to staff professional development.
• Learned school will be in session for students on Monday.
• Learned the IREAD tests will be March 5 and 6.
• Approved the resignation of Kathy Anglemyer as the high school evening custodian; resignation of Susan Shaffer as a junior-senior high school English teacher; hiring Kathy Anglemyer as a substitute cafeteria worker, custodian and instructional assistant; hiring Riley Linville as a full-time high school evening custodian; hiring Abby Dreibelbis as an elementary instructional assistant; hiring Aaron Haines as a volunteer special purpose bus driver; hiring Sam Stutzman as a volunteer junior high wrestling coach, hiring Rick Yarborough as the fifth-grade girls basketball coach and hiring Mikayla O’Dell as an elementary instructional assistant.