WEST FARGO — West Fargo Public Schools has found a way to pay off its tax bill early, saving the district about $3 million in special assessment costs.
West Fargo Public Schools Business Manager Levi Bachmeier proposed selling about $10.3 million in general obligation bonds now and using that money to pay any outstanding special assessments the district currently has.
"By refinancing outstanding debt currently financed by cities within the district’s boundaries, the administration has projected savings to district taxpayers of over $3 million," Bachmeier said.
Taxing entities such as school districts are not immune from paying special assessments on properties it owns. Most special assessments can be repaid over a period of 15 to 25 years, but property owners can save money on interest by paying off special assessments early.
Bachmeier said the bond market currently has very competitive rates, making it a good time do this.
"We would pay back that debt as a mortgage and use the dollars generated to pay back those specials," Bachmeier said. "The difference is so substantial. It seemed like a no-brainer to reorganize our special assessments. This is what we aim to do — save the taxpayers money without impacting education."
The West Fargo School Board unanimously approved the plan to sell the bonds at its Monday, March 9, meeting.