Letter: School bond makes good economic sense

Posted 10/21/21

To the editor:

Portsmouth taxpayers have a rare opportunity this Nov. 2 to approve a bond that will accelerate much-needed deferred health and safety improvements for all of the district’s …

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Letter: School bond makes good economic sense

Posted

To the editor:

Portsmouth taxpayers have a rare opportunity this Nov. 2 to approve a bond that will accelerate much-needed deferred health and safety improvements for all of the district’s schools. 

Not only are we likely to get a 40-percent reimbursement on the necessary expenditures, but we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take advantage of the lowest interest rates in that lifetime. Our financial advisors have assumed a conservative 3.5-percent interest rate on the new bond but recent municipal financings have been done at rates below 2 percent. 

At rates below the current assumption, the tax impact may be non-existent as the town would be replacing existing rapidly declining debt with cheaper new debt. Even at 3.5 percent, the tax impact would be very little as evidenced by examples that various presentations have provided but it could be nothing.

Not approving this bond would be a shameful lost opportunity as all the included projects must be done and will otherwise take several additional years to be completed, partly because of the annual tax cap and likely higher interest rates. All of the projects were carefully considered to maximize our eligibility for the 40 percent. 

Any parent of school age children and recent alumni can easily recognize the need for those improvements. Even long-desired air conditioning for the Portsmouth High School field house is included. The Portsmouth School Committee and the Town Council have all unanimously approved this bond after a number of public hearings. Our school district is certainly one of the town’s greatest assets. Let’s keep it that way.

Frederick W. Faerber III

Portsmouth School Committee

271 Sprague St.

Portsmouth

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