Gretna Public Schools’ next bond issue would raise property taxes between six and 10 cents per $100 of valuation if the full list of projects were approved by voters, according to projections presented during Thursday’s Citizens’ Building Committee meeting.
The increases are based on annual valuation growth of the district and the size of the bond issued.
Higher priority projects — including a second high school, third middle school, eighth elementary and a competition pool — were estimated to cost $243.3 million. A ninth elementary, bus barn, lighting upgrades, Gretna elementary parking/drives and additional site acquisitions would increase the total to an estimated $282.8 million.
Some of those projects may be left off the next bond issue, leading to a lower bond total. All of the projects will be done, but it’s just a matter of when they get done and if they are on the next bond, Superintendent Rich Beran said.
The Citizens’ Building Committee will recommend to the district’s Board of Education which projects to include on the district’s next bond issue and the board will have final approval of the projects and cost, Beran said.
That recommendation will come at the next board meeting, and the earliest the bond would appear on a ballot would be in November, Beran said.
If district voters approve a $282.8 million bond the district’s bond levy would hit its peak in the 2026–27 school year at 9.84 cents above its current level and then decrease. That is assuming the district’s valuation increases by an average of 7.5% each year over the next 25 years.
Those are based on projections provided by D.A. Davidson, a financial services firm.
On the lower end, if district valuation growth over those 25 years averages 10%, then the peak would be 6.76 cents above the current level during the 2022–23 school year, according to projections.
The district’s current bond levy is 36 cents and the total levy is $1.41 per $100 of valuation. Since 2000 the district’s total valuation has averaged more than an 11% increase, and over the past five years growth is 10.68%, according to D.A. Davidson.
Assuming a 7.5% annual growth rate, the $282.8 million bond would add $196.80 to property taxes on a $200,000 home in 2026–27, while the $243.3 million bond would increase property taxes $151.60, according to D.A. Davidson’s projections.