Smart Investment for Future Growth
In considering a bond referendum to accommodate historic student growth, members of the LSCS Board of Trustees were clear – no tax rate increase!
Because of its strong budget management and accelerated debt pay down, Lone Star College System is able to propose the $497.7 million bond referendum with no tax increase.
- LSCS maintains AAA credit rating.
- Eight credit rating increases in last nine years.
- Administrative operating expenses under 12%.
- LSCS received Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting each year since 2004.
- No tax increases as part of last two bond elections.
- ROI of $2.30 for every dollar of taxpayer money invested in LSCS..
Rapidly-increasing community demand
Added 30,000 students in past 5 years; 58% growth.
“The enrollment growth at Lone Star College System is unprecedented.”
Projecting more than 100,000 students by 2018
Lone Star College only builds to meet capacity needs. Student enrollment projections indicate that LSCS will exceed current capacity of 4 million sf by the end of 2013 and will have stressed space demands until 2018 as new construction from the bonds is completed.
Why consider another bond referendum now?
- Lone Star College System campuses are operating at capacity or near capacity, despite the additional instructional space that was brought online as part of the May 2008 bond referendum.
- The facilities included in the 2013 bond referendum will help the college system accommodate student enrollment four to five years down the road, when enrollment is expected to reach more than 100,000 students.
- The referendum includes financing for a number of centers in areas that can provide technical and other instruction to help solidify the workforce by training students in key high-demand industries. New centers planned for East Aldine, Creekside and Magnolia will offer academic transfer and relevant training programs close to home for students, many who hold down jobs while attending school.
LSCS returns $2.30 ROI for every dollar invested
Lone Star College currently adds $1.1B in annual economic impact for the region through increased earnings for students and improved workforce productivity for employers. And taxpayers see a $2.30 return on every dollar invested in LSCS.
How will a bond referendum affect me?
No tax rate increase
LSCS Board members were adamant that all plans being considered to accommodate LSCS’s historical growth could be implemented without burdening the LSCS taxpayers – which translates into no tax rate increase.
Tax freeze for homeowners 65 years of age or older
The LSCS Board implemented a tax freeze in 2006, which means the taxes for their existing home are frozen at the level they paid in 2006.
- M & O – represents tax rate for Maintenance and Operating.
- I & S – represents tax rate for Interest and Sinking fund, which includes
- Note: The I & S rate has not changed for the past 6 years and is lower than
it was in 2003 and 2004.
How is it possible to build more buildings and not raise tax rates?
- LSCS is able to absorb construction debt because of its strong financial foundation through superior budget management and accelerated pay down of previous debt.
- LSCS also maintains administrative operating expenses below 12 percent, which is among the lowest of any college in the nation.
- LSCS has benefited from eight credit rating increases in the last 10 years and maintains a AAA bond rating from Standard and Poor’s Ratings, which allows the college to save millions of dollars in interest expense.
- The LSCS tax rate is the same as it was 15 years ago and the college system’s past two bond referendums did not cause an increase in the tax rate.
- LSCS has received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting each year since 2004