If at first you don’t succeed, try a second time.
Voters Saturday appeared set to pass Proposition A, a measure bearing striking resemblance to one that first appeared in 2020, with 2,060 votes for and 1,833 against, according to complete but unofficial returns.
Through Proposition A, taxpayers in the College of the Mainland’s district OK'd refinancing a loan to save more than $4 million over the lifetime of the debt, said Diane Burkett, executive director of marketing and public affairs for the college.
The college plans to refinance the remaining debt on some maintenance tax notes issued in 2017 to make repairs to the campus. Those repairs included replacing underground water pipes and replacing the roof of the school’s fine arts building.
College leaders could find interest rates as low as 1 percent if they refinance, Burkett said. Taxpayers currently are paying about 4.2 percent interest.
A debt of about $14 million from the loan of $20 million remains against the college’s maintenance and operations budget. With voter approval, the college will be able to move that to the debt service part of its tax rate.
Refinancing at a rate of 1 percent will save taxpayers a little more than $4.3 million, officials said.
Proposition A is different from one voters shot down in November in that college leaders no longer plan to spend the $250,000 they would save each year through refinancing on academic operations, Burkett said. Instead, they plan to return the money to taxpayers through a cut in the maintenance and operations tax rate.
“Based on projected numbers, if the refinancing measure is approved, the new tax rate would be an estimated $0.287747 per $100 valuation versus $0.290364 per $100 valuation if the measure does not pass,” according to the college.
The college’s jurisdiction encompasses the Dickinson, Hitchcock, Santa Fe and Texas City school districts.