Understanding Bond Financing

  • Public school taxes involve two figures which divide the school district’s budget into two “buckets.” The first is the Maintenance & Operations (M&O) budget, also known as the General Fund. The M&O fund is used to pay for the day-to-day operations of a district and includes items such as salaries, utilities, food, gas, supplies, etc. Approximately 86.5% of Georgetown ISD’s M&O budget is spent on personnel salaries, benefits, daily operations and related costs.

    BucketsGraphic

    The second is the Interest & Sinking (I&S) budget or Debt Service. This fund is used to repay debt for capital improvements approved by voters through bond elections. As a comparison, this fund is similar to a mortgage or home improvement loan. I&S funds may only be used to repay debt.

    Proceeds from a bond issue can be used for the construction and renovation of facilities, the acquisition of land and the purchase of capital items, such as equipment, technology and transportation. By law, I&S funds cannot be used for the M&O budget, which means voter-approved bonds cannot be used to increase salaries or to pay rising costs of utilities or services.

    Georgetown ISD’s current M&O rate is $0.9020 and the I&S rate is $0.329, for a total district tax rate of $1.231 per $100 of property value.