Jackson County BOE resolves bond refinancing issue

Northeast Alabama

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – The Jackson County Board of Education has figured out a way to save millions without needing the Commission to extend a 2014 bond guaranteeing schools get two cents of sales tax.

According to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Middleton, the plan now is to decrease payment amounts on the 2014 bond which ends in 2039, but increase payments of a 2021 bond for the Innovation and Career Academy over a shorter period of time.

It will also now end in 2039 in 18 years instead of 30.

Middleton said in the long run, they’ll save millions of dollars thanks to low interest rates and the shorter payment period.

The new Innovation and Career Academy is not expected to be delayed at all and bids can go out to bid next week.

Middleton and Superintendent Kevin Dukes brought another plan before Jackson County commissioners last week that involved extending the guarantee of two cents for education in the 2014 bond from 2039 to 2051.

Commissioners were hesitant to approve the extension concerned it would tie the hands of several commissions in the future.

After later discussion, the commission approved a reciprocation agreement to be given to both Jackson County and Scottsboro City boards of education essentially stating that if the county commission approves the bond extension, that should a local or state law remove Simplified Sellers Use Tax (SSUT), or internet sales tax, funding from county government and give it to school boards, that any portion that was redirected be returned to the county.

Seeing the hesitancy from the Commission, the Board of Education began looking into other options, but thanked commissioners for meeting with them.

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