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District Saves Taxpayers $4 Million Through Refinancing of Bonds

A move taken by the Belton ISD Board of Trustees last fall has saved the district more than $4 million.

In September, trustees approved refinancing a series of existing bonds — the 2012 Bond approved by voters to build North Belton Middle School, Chisholm Trail Elementary and High Point Elementary as well as previous refunding bonds from 2013. The hope was to secure a lower interest rate and save about $3.4 million. 

When officials sold the refunded bonds last month, the final savings — $4,001,304 — were even higher than originally estimated.

“This is an exceptional win for taxpayers and the Big Red Community as a whole,” said Superintendent Matt Smith. “Taxpayers trust the board and district leaders to properly manage funds, so we are constantly looking for ways to save money and lower costs. I applaud our trustees for proactively approving this action in September so that we were able to jump on the opportunity to save money when the time was right.”

Jennifer Ritter, the district’s financial advisor with Specialized Public Finance, said interest rates were between 3.00-3.625% on the bonds before they were refinanced. They are now locked in at an average interest rate of 1.66%, with an annual savings of about $325,000 from 2023-2039. 

“This board consistently takes action to refinance bonds with lower interest rates when the opportunity arises,” Ritter said. “In total, the district has saved taxpayers $13,877,443 in the past five years by refunding existing bonds at favorable times.”

Belton ISD earned the state’s highest fiscal accountability rating (FIRST) from the Texas Education Agency for the 10th straight year in October 2021.

January 12, 2022