Hey, voter, can you spare a dime?

A recommendation to proceed with a school bond has been made to the Douglas County School Board.

While the timing for the bond has not been decided, 2008 is a good year to make the attempt. If approved, the debt service for the school district will remain at 10 cents per $100 assessed value in property tax.

Members of the Keep Improving Douglas Schools committee know they have an uphill battle in selling a bond to the county's frugal electorate.

That battle won't be made any easier by the Byzantine nature of the public tax laws or that they've recommended a rollover bond, which appears to be the equivalent of a home equity line of credit, where the amount is based on current revenue.

In order to pass a bond in Douglas County, committee members need to answer three questions. How much do you want? How much is it going to cost us, really? And why should we vote for it?

There's a fourth question that we've attempted to answer: what happens if we say no?

When the school district's bonds approved to build Minden and PiƱon Hills elementary schools and Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School sunset in 2011, the 10 cents on the tax bill also sunsets.

But will that money necessarily go back into taxpayers' pockets? Maybe, maybe not. For the price of a public hearing, and some hearty abuse from constituents, any of the many governments in Douglas County could pick up some portion of that dime.

Most of those serving in our local government prefer to be known as tax cutters, but desperate times have been known to alter leaders' behavior.

We look forward to hearing the sales pitch and wish the school committee members luck with their endeavor. They'll need it.


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