Plan to Reduce Poway Unified Debt Gets Mixed Reaction - NBC 7 San Diego

Plan to Reduce Poway Unified Debt Gets Mixed Reaction



    A financial consultant says he has a way to reduce the debt of controversial capital bonds in the Poway school district. NBC 7’s Dave Summers has the details. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014)

    A plan just pitched to Poway Unified School District that promises to reduce its impending $1 billion debt was met with lukewarm reaction.

    San Francisco financial consultant Dale Scott thinks he can save future homeowners in San Diego  25 percent of that debt, but it will cost existing district residents a property tax increase now.

    Poway Unified made renovations and repairs to its 24 aging schools, starting in 2001 under Proposition U.

    To finish the job, Poway taxpayers passed Proposition C in 2008, and in 2011, as part of that bond, the district borrowed $105 million.

    It won’t begin paying it back until 20 years from now.

    That decision received national attention and criticism.

    The latest financial consultant plan estimates a 25 percent reduction in that future debt. How it would work would be that the district would have to buy back the capital appreciation bonds and purchase current interest bonds.

    The transaction would increase property taxes right away.

    “The key question now: What does our community want to do? Do they want to pay taxes now? Increase taxes or do they want to defer those taxes to a future point in time? We need to hear from them,” Board President Todd Gutschow said.

    Scott will return to Poway's regular school board meeting Aug.19 to go over the plan a second time.

    The public is encouraged to attend to ask questions and give their input.