Aspen schools to save taxpayers $1.8 million over 13 years
ASPEN – The Aspen School District will save local taxpayers more than $1.8 million over the next 13 years thanks to two bond refinancings.
According to Finance Director Kate Fuentes, the district has successfully refinanced its 2005 general obligation bonds, which equates to taxpayer savings of approximately $140,000 per year from 2012 through 2025.
“With these refinancings, we will be reducing the taxpayers’ burden in the coming years,” she said, adding that the voter-approved bonds were originally issued for the new elementary, middle and high schools.
Fuentes said it is a credit to the district’s “sound financial management and strong property tax base” that it was able to secure a favorable interest rate in the refinancings. The Aspen School District currently has an investment grade rating of Aa1 through Moody’s.
“During these challenging economic times and the large deficits the district has been faced with the last three years, it is great that we continue to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars,” said Aspen Superintendent John Maloy.
While the district is facing budget challenges and anticipates having to make significant cuts in the years ahead, the property tax savings cannot be reallocated to the schools’ operating budgets.
“The dollars that we levy for debt service cannot be used for operations,” Fuentes said. “So what we are doing is saving the taxpayers money where we can.”
Maloy also recognized the dichotomy of the situation.
“The district’s ability to save the taxpayers’ dollars with reduced interest rates is, however, just another indicator of a struggling economy that continues to impact schools in Colorado and across the country,” he said.
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