January 12, 2016
Chief Operations Officer Paula Barbaroux welcomed team members to the meeting. She offered a brief summary of what’s been happening since the group last met in December. The spreadsheet has been updated with additional updates/changes based on requests from FIRST members.
Consensus Voting Framework Continued
**TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES FOR LIVE ACTION VOTING**
Ms. Barbaroux asked team members to discuss at their table the following items:
Team members began their continued project review and voting in their groups. Voting tallies will be compiled at a later time.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robin Ryan paused the group’s voting work to share details from the following financial news message:
In 1996, the district entered into a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) zone agreement with the City of Grapevine to bring the Grapevine Mills Mall to the area. The advantage of entering the TIF Zone was to bring economic development to the area and increase taxable values. Additionally, as a recapture district, GCISD would not pay recapture on the increases in values from this zone, but would benefit from increased taxes on the Debt Service tax rate.
A TIF works by identifying the taxable value within the TIF zone for the base year, in this case 1996. From that point forward, if the values increase from the base year, the additional taxes collected are paid into the TIF. In 1996, the City issued bonds to pay for infrastructure around Grapevine Mills and the funds contributed into the TIF pay the debt bond payments each year. The TIF agreement ends when the last debt payment is made, which will be on February 15, 2016.
Current estimates show there is approximately $22 million of the district’s contributions in the TIF fund that will not be needed to repay debt. In other words, the annual payments have exceeded what is needed to pay off the associated debt. This happened because the values increased more than projected.
Upon learning of the residual funds belonging to the district in the TIF, the board began to consider how best to make use of this money. Unfortunately, the amount of time for consideration is very limited due to the final payment being in February.
The board may elect to pursue new projects, paid by the TIF thereby extending the life of the TIF, as long as the projects benefit the TIF zone (as determined by the TIF Board) and is within the City of Grapevine. The board wants to use the unallocated TIF funds in a way that benefits as many district students and families as possible.
Initially, the district held discussions with the city to see if any joint projects were possible. At this time, a joint project is not possible. The GCISD board then began considering capital projects currently being reviewed by the FIRST. With limitations on the amount of debt a new bond should incur, and following the requirements of the TIF zone, the Board is considering using approximately $18 million of the unallocated TIF funds to add to the funds FIRST members have already recommended for repairs of the stadium. The purpose is to make significant improvements to Mustang-Panther Stadium for several reasons that include:
The GCISD board must act to recommend projects to the TIF Board by the end January.
After sharing details of this message, Dr. Ryan by explaining that district staff and Board wanted FIRST members to be aware of this financial benefit and the plans under consideration.
Following Dr. Ryan’s announcement, group discussion and work continued through the remainder of the meeting.