Q. What is a general obligation bond election?
A. A general obligation bond election is an opportunity for individuals to vote on paying for the construction of new facilities and the capital improvement or renovation of present facilities. Cost of these facilities will be borne by the sale of bonds, which will be paid off with tax revenues over time. Federal law requires that all public institutions that sell bonds that obligate taxpayers must first seek approval of those taxpayers.
Q. How can general obligation bond money be used?
A. General obligation bond money can be used only for the construction of new facilities, and the renovation and upkeep of existing facilities. Bond funds cannot be used for normal operating expenses.
Q. How will this bond issue affect my taxes?
A. The maximum increase in taxes for debt services will not exceed 3 cents. Residents owning a home with appraised value of $100,000 will see their taxes increase approximately $28.50 per year, or $2.38 monthly. Residents with a $150,000 home will pay an additional $43.56 annually, or $3.63 more per month, a nominal increase.
Most senior citizens of age 65 or older will see no increase in their taxes. Senior citizens over age 65 owning a home with appraised value of $132,500 will see no increase in their taxes. San Jacinto College’s practice has been to mitigate the tax impact on our senior citizens and disabled by increasing the tax exemption for these citizens. San Jacinto College intends to continue this practice. See the “Financial Impact” page in this booklet for details.
Q. When is the last time San Jacinto College held a bond election, and what were the results?
A. The most recent bond election was held in May 2008. The request was for $295 million in general obligation bonds. With a commitment to not exceed a 4 cent tax increase, the College has stayed below that threshold. These bond funds were used to build state-of-the-art facilities in allied health, science, and transportation; new Welcome Centers on the North and South Campuses; a new library on North Campus; and a new Maritime Campus along the Houston Ship Channel. Other needs addressed were library renovations for the South and Central Campuses, expansion of infrastructure, replacement of obsolete equipment and building systems that were beyond their useful life, and renovation of repurposed space. To see a list of projects completed in the 2008 bond, visit www.sanjac.edu/bond.
Q. Why does San Jacinto College need a bond issue at this time?
A. San Jacinto College opened its doors to the community more than 54 years ago. While the buildings throughout the College have serviced the community well, many of them have out-lived their useful life. It is imperative that San Jacinto College provide the "right" teaching and hands-on learning space to ensure students are successful in meeting their educational and career goals. Those goals are multifaceted, including entering the region's workforce or transferring to four-year institutions.
Q. What impact will this bond issue have on the education of students, businesses and our community?
A. The facilities and technology resulting from construction proposed in this bond will provide students a state-of-the-art education in dozens of career fields, enhancing the quality of their lives, improve the competitiveness of the workforce for local businesses and industry, and maintain a high state of living and quality of life for the entire region. Without improvements to its facilities, San Jacinto College jeopardizes its ability to provide the education needed for tomorrow’s workforce.
Q: Where can I get more information about the Bond Proposal?
A. We encourage you to visit our website at www.sanjac.edu/bond for more information, and join in the conversation on social media using the hashtag #SanJacTomorrow.