Letter to the Editor: Deb Oleson

The G-R school district is asking the public to vote on a bond issue on September 13. As the former business manager of the district, I felt the need to address some of the information that is being distributed about the bond issue and its impact on the taxpayers of our district.

First, find the places where you can get educated on the facts about the facility planning and improvements that the district has been presenting. Check out https://www.grcsdplanning.org You will find Fact Sheets, FAQs, as well as video/slide presentations from July 26 and August 24 community meetings. Complete videos can be found on YouTube – “GR Rebels.”

A letter paid for by “Citizens Against Higher Taxation” was recently mailed and included additional information stating that the Bond Issue request is $31 million. The actual amount is $23.6 million. This information included the district’s Average Household Income of $66,135. Keep in mind this is an annual income. It shows average bond debt per household of $16,577.00 (based on incorrect $31 million but it also would be over 20 years). Calculations would be $23.6 million divided by 1,870 households and then divide by 20 YEARS of the bonds and it calculates to an average of $641.30 of annual debt per household. Now – compare the average annual debt of $641.30 to the average annual income of $66,135. Don’t let their apples-to-oranges comparisons distract you from the facts.

And even better yet, it would be best to calculate your personal property tax impact. For homeowners, a $199.58 increase per $100,000 ASSESSED value of your home per year. For ag land, a $5.36 to $6.62 (depending on the county) increase per acre per year. Do your own calculations for your own situation.

Now the important part – facilities cannot live forever without improvements/upgrades to meet current needs no matter where or what they are. Over the 31 years I worked for the district, the citizens were never asked to vote on a bond issue. Taxpayers of the district have benefited for many, many years by having one of the lowest tax rates in the state and definitely lower than our neighboring school districts. But now it’s time – How can we all help to meet the current needs of educating students and address facility improvement needs. Please vote YES on September 13. I will!

Rebel Proud.


Deb Oleson