Property tax breaks coming

County treasurer nets savings for local taxpayers
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Some local property owners can look forward to seeing some savings on their future tax bills. That’s because the Newcastle Elementary School District took advantage of historically low interest rates and refinanced General Obligation Bonds with the Placer County treasurer. “The stars were all aligned for Newcastle,” said Jay Stewart, assistant superintendent for the Loomis Union School District. Stewart said the Loomis district also has an outstanding General Obligation Bond balance of almost $7 million, but the balance is too high and the term too long to justify refinancing. He said the district already has a “good interest rate.” “By the time we paid all the fees it wouldn’t be worth it. They (Newcastle) had a pretty high rate,” Stewart said. Stewart said county treasurer Jeanine Windeshausen, of Loomis, will keep an eye on the interest rates and alert any school districts that might benefit from a refinance. “Jeanine will continue to monitor and review all of the school districts’ General Obligation Bonds. They’re watching with diligence,” Stewart said. Newcastle taxpayers will see savings of approximately $27,636 in costs over the next four years, according to the Newcastle District principal/superintendent Kathleen Daugherty. “There is no financial value to the school district. It’s all about the community. The refinance costs were paid for by the refinance and we did not have to extend the length of the bond," Daugherty said. Windeshausen said that she acts as the local banker to municipalities in the county. “The county is one of our depositors in the county treasury, along with all of the schools and most of the fire districts,” Windeshausen said. Windeshausen explained that interest rates were much higher in 1988 when the district financed $700,000 in bonds to build a new gym for school and community use. The Newcastle district board of trustees and Daugherty asked the county treasurer to assist with refinancing and Windeshausen agreed to purchase the district’s 2009 Refunding Bonds as an investment for the treasurer’s investment pool. On July 1, the remaining balance on the bonds of $230,000 was refinanced through the county treasurer. “The treasurer’s office saved them from having to go to the market and hire an underwriter. It would have wiped out any savings they would have seen,” she said. Now, with the treasurer holding the loan, Newcastle school district property owners will see the savings reflected on their tax bills over the next four years. “We now need to collect a little less money from those taxpayers,” Windeshausen explained. Newcastle school district trustee Michael Leydon said the board was “very grateful” to Windeshausen for working with them. He said the topic of refinancing first came up in February and he stated the process “didn’t require a great deal of time on our part” and was completed in about two months. “Saving any amount of money was important to our taxpayers,” Leydon said. Voters in the Newcastle school district approved the 25-year bond in 1988. Leydon said the gym “has been a great asset for the community and school