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2.99% is worst case interest rate for Alton School bond proposal

To the editor,
The Alton Central School Buildings and Grounds Committee would like to take this opportunity to clarify the cost of the proposed Alton Central School renovation that will appear in Article 2 on the ballot on March 12. The estimated cost of the project is $18.6 million, with $900,000 of that being paid as a "downpayment" from existing capital reserve funds. If approved by voters, the remaining $17.7 million would be paid through municipal bonds. The New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank has given the district a worse-case rate estimate of 2.99 percent. At this rate, the GROSS cost to taxpayers will be $102 per $100,000 of property value for each of the next 15 years. However, in 2012, taxpayers in Alton paid $68 per $100,000 of property value to retire the 10-year bond for Prospect Mountain High School. This means the NET change in taxes to pay for bonds related to school facilities when compared to 2012 rates will be $34 per $100,000 ($102 less $68 = $34). This means that if your property value is near the median value of $200,000 for Alton, your tax bill will increase by $68 in 2013.
If the bond rate is less than 2.99 percent, which is likely to be the case, the annual cost impact will be less than $34 per $100,000 of property value when compared to 2012 rates.
We encourage the citizens of Alton to visit www.alton.k12.nh.us to use the "Cost Calculator" on the main webpage. Enter your assessed property value and you will see your total annual contribution for the renovation as well as the net change in your taxes relative to 2012. The calculator also provides a monthly and weekly breakdown of your individual cost.
We hope that this explanation of the gross versus net taxpayer cost addresses the concerns of the community. If you have further questions, please contact the Alton SAU 72 office at 875-7890 or me (Buildings & Grounds Communication Committee Chair) at 285-5095.
Steve Renner
Alton Central School Building & Grounds Committee
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