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Elmbrook refinances debt services at lower rate, saves taxpayers $350,000

Dec. 10, 2013

By refinancing its debt with lower interest rates, the Elmbrook School District will save property taxpayers nearly $350,000.

The School Board unanimously approved authorizing the issuance and sale of approximately $9.6 million in general obligation refunding bonds, after a better alternative for debt services was proposed Tuesday by Eric Kass, district assistant superintendent for finance, operations and human resources.

"We're trying to take our higher-interest debt, which is long-term — probably 15 to 16 years out — refinance that (money) with lower-interest debt and save the property taxpayers money over time," Kass said.

The alternative, a competitive bid for the debt services with lower-interest costs, would result in gross savings of approximately $390,733 over the course of the next 14 fiscal years.

"So instead of sending a higher amount of dollars to some investor that lent us money to renovate the high schools, we lowered that interest cost because the market allowed us to," Kass said. "...This is an extremely timely and volatile market that we're in," Kass said. "Two months ago, this opportunity didn't exist."

A majority of those savings (approximately $341,000) would be saved within the next three fiscal years, he said.

"The lowest-cost bid will save the school district short of $400,000 in gross savings, (but) what I think is most important is the present value of those savings if we discount those to present value dollars," Kass said. "That's about $350,000 in our pocket that taxpayers will save (on the property tax levy.)

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