As the May election nears, Georgetown Independent School District has proposed a series of bonds that will cost local property taxpayers more than $1 billion. 

The bonds proposed would use taxpayer dollars to purchase new school buses, renovate classrooms, construct new schools, and repair athletic facilities. 

Despite the bond materials stating the entire package will cost $649 million, local taxpayers will actually be burdened with more than $1.2 billion in debt when interest is included. 

Currently, Georgetown ISD property taxpayers owe more than $951 million in bond debt principal and interest. All school bond debt is repaid using local property taxes. 

Whether or not the tax rate changes when a bond first passes, the local tax liability is increased; thus, every bond is a property tax increase.

Texas law requires school districts to highlight the tax impact by including language on the ballot stating, “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.”

The Georgetown ISD bond package includes the following: 

Prop A — $597,470,000 for constructing a new comprehensive high school, middle school, and elementary school; renovating and expanding classrooms in fine arts and athletics; and purchasing new school buses. 

Prop B —  $20,330,000 for technology infrastructure and equipment.

Prop C — $27,850,000 for a performing arts center at East View High School, equipment and uniforms, and addressing aging conditions of the Klett Performing Arts facility at Georgetown High School. 

Prop D — $3,860,000 for repairing the track field at Georgetown High School and expanding the East View High School field house and locker rooms. 

Georgetown ISD resident Janine Chapa told Texas Scorecard that taxpayers are being burdened with more debt due to the high bonds. 

“In 2021, the citizens approved $349 million in school bonds. Now in 2024, we are getting hit with another $649 million ask in school bonds,” said Chapa. “If approved, in less than three years we will be on the hook for $998 million in school bonds plus interest, and don’t forget about the $1.2 billion the city and county just straddled on us.

“Our leaders are out of touch with the people, and it is so disheartening! You would think with the high cost of living they would have sympathy for the taxpayer and look for other ways to find the money, or better yet give the taxpayers a break and have no bond election at all,” she added. 

Early voting in the bond election runs April 22-30. 

Election Day is Saturday, May 4. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.