In these challenging economic times, there are sometimes opportunities to be seized that can be a benefit for the common good. Such is the case with certain debts that are common to school districts, including Jurupa Unified.
As many of our citizens and employees know, we had a successful election (Measure C) for a bond issue about ten years ago, and as a result, we were able to modernize many of our schools and also to build Patriot High School. This debt is serviced each year from taxes paid by our local property owners. The District also has long term debt for Capital Improvements in the form of what the financial industry calls “Certificates of Participation”, or as they are more commonly called, “COPs”. This debt went into building our Education Center. The COPs debt service is paid each year from money we receive from redevelopment funds. Neither bond or redevelopment money can be used to pay payroll, benefits, or similar expenses.
With interest rates at historic lows, the District explored the opportunity of “refunding,” which is another way of saying “refinancing” this debt. We are happy to report that last week both the bonds from the Measure C election and the COPs were successfully restructured. The payoff date remains the same and the average interest rate was lowered resulting in savings to our taxpayers and our school district. After all expenses were paid, our district property owners will have their property taxes reduced $4.51 per year. This saves all taxpayers over $2.4 Million over the 11 year life of the bond. This is a direct savings to taxpayers, not to the school district. With the COPs, the refinancing effort saved the Jurupa Unified approximately $452,000.
Despite the dark economic clouds, there are some silver linings to be found.