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Central's Property Tax Rate Will Drop

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- People living within the Central School District will see their local school property taxes decrease in 2010.

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE -- People living within the Central School District will see their local school property taxes decrease in 2010.

District officials recently sold the $47.3 million in general obligation bonds authorized by voters in 2008 -- and received a nearly $48 million premium in return.

This translates into a decrease of the existing district levy rate for property owners by about 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. And it will continue to decrease over the life of the 30-year bond.

The levy associated with the high school reconstruction bond was slated at $3.36 per $1,000 of assessed value, and wouldn't have raised taxes beyond what residents currently pay. That's because this bond will take effect when another bond passed several years ago to erect Ash Creek Elementary School expires in 2010.

Seattle Northwest Securities sold the district's bonds on the market on April 26.

"At the moment, equities are scary for people," Mike Maloney, district bond manager said. "Municipal bonds are more secure, so institutional investors are paying a premium for municipal bonds because they're more certain ... that all worked in our favor."

Central School Board recently approved contracting firm LCG Pence's guaranteed maximum price of $37.98 million for the high school project.

The roughly $10 million balance of the bond project will go toward architect and engineering costs, energy upgrades at the elementary schools and other expenses associated with the bond. This includes $1.3 million for construction of the new high school sports practice fields and parking on Central's property off 16th Street west of Talmadge Middle School.

Work on the new high school will begin in June and will conclude by fall 2010.

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