Tag Archives: bond

COPs and Robbers: A Tale of Two Jeffco Schools

It’s been a little while since we talked about Jeffco, but I couldn’t resist chiming in on a CBS 4 story proudly declaring that the district has broken ground on a “brand-new K-8 school” in Arvada’s Candelas development. The construction of a new school wouldn’t normally merit a blog post, but this particular school carries such political baggage and symbolic value that it’s impossible to ignore. If you dig deep into the locked container in your head labeled “Jeffco Recall 2015,” you’ll probably remember a bit of a kerfuffle last year about the proposed use of certificates of participation to finance new school construction in Jefferson County. COPs, as they’re colloquially known, exist mostly as an end-run around TABOR in that they allow governments to incur long-term debt without voter approval. The Independence Institute’s Josh Sharf explains it like this: The government, in this case a school district, transfers some asset, usually a building or set of buildings, to a special-purpose entity set up specifically to administer the COP.  That entity – not the school district itself – then floats the bond on the municipal bond market.  It then leases the buildings back to the school district for lease payments […]


Just Giving Jeffco Schools The Money They Ask for Won't Fix the Problem

Update: Pam let me know that a couple things quoted from her interview with 9News weren’t quite right. So I’ve marked them below. Yesterday, Education Policy Center Director Pam Benigno spoke out about a proposal to raise school property taxes in Jefferson County: “Well, I think this is definitely not a good time,” said Pam Benigno, director of the Education Policy Center within the Independence Institute. The Independence Institute is a Golden-based, non-partisan government watchdog group. Benigno says the homeowner should not have to shoulder the burden of JeffCo’s increasing costs. “I think that this is, this is too much,” said Benigno. “However, the system is the problem. They will always need more money.” Benigno claims that while attending a meeting on the 2004 bond election [it was actually many years before that], a district staffer told her JeffCo plans on a bond issue or mill levy increase once every four or five years. “As a citizen of Jefferson County, that really makes me uncomfortable to know that they’re planning on raising my taxes every five years,” said Benigno. “And, this time, this has been only four years.” Benigno says the district should take a hard look at the way […]