Make it count May 1, 2021
Frequently Asked Questions
We apologize for a previous error where outdated information was found on this page. The information found below is updated and accurate as of April 15, 2021 at 11 a.m.
- What does it mean for College of the Mainland to refinance its maintenance tax note?
- The refinancing of an existing tax note (also known as a debt or bond) at a lower interest rate is done routinely when a college reacts to changing market conditions and interest rates.
- Why is the college looking to refinance its maintenance tax debt?
- If the proposition is passed, the refinancing would serve as a significant cost savings opportunity to help tax dollars go further. The proposal allows COM to take advantage of the market’s historically low interest rates by refinancing its existing maintenance tax debt at a reduced rate. In turn, COM can continue providing a high-quality, low-cost learning experience for the students that we serve.
- What are the benefits to refinancing the maintenance tax debt?
- Allows COM to take advantage of the market’s historically low interest rates by exchanging its existing $16 million higher-interest tax note for a lower-interest rate.
- Saves an estimated $4.3 million in interest over the life of the college’s existing bond debt.
- Could decrease COM’s interest rate from 4 to as low as 1 percent.
- Saves the college nearly $250,000 per year in interest.
The refinancing will not raise student tuition prices and does not provide for new bonds for new construction.
- What is a maintenance tax note?
- A maintenance tax note can be used for maintenance and operating expenses such as renovation, construction and equipment. The maintenance tax note debt is a cost that residents are currently paying as a part of their property taxes.
- What are bonds and how can they be used?
Bonds are very similar to a home mortgage in that they allow educational institutions to borrow money for major college projects. To fund these projects, the college can sell bonds to investors and use the proceeds for facility construction, building renovations, equipment purchasing or other major capital expenses. The college then repays the lender principal and interest over a fixed timeframe.
In 2017, COM sold its maintenance bonds to repair its underground piping, replace the chiller water loop, replace the fine arts building roof, convert the swimming pool into the conference center, and remodel the chemistry lab, gym and student center.
- If the refinancing is approved, how will my taxes be impacted?
- If the proposition is approved, there would be an overall decrease to your property tax rate. Based on projected numbers, if the refinancing measure is approved the new tax rate would be an estimated $0.287747 (per $100 valuation) versus $0.290364 (per $100 valuation) if the measure does not pass. Your final property tax amount is dependent on the value on your home.
- Who gets to vote in the May 1 refinancing election?
- Registered voters within the Dickinson, Hitchcock, Santa Fe and Texas City schools can vote on the proposed refinancing. La Marque residents can vote on the refinancing since they are part of the Texas City school district. Voters that live in League City but are part of the Dickinson school district also can vote on the refinancing.
- I am not registered to vote. How do I register?
- A voter registration form may be acquired from the county elections clerk at 409-770-5108 or at www.galvestonvotes.org.
- When and where do I vote?
- April 19-23, 2021 (8 a.m.–5 p.m.)
- April 26-27, 2021 (7 a.m.–7 p.m.)
- May 1, 2021 (7 a.m.–7 p.m.)
The COM main campus and COM Learning Center in League City are official polling locations. Any registered voter in Galveston County can vote early at either of the COM polling sites. For a full list of polling locations, visit www.galvestonvotes.org.
- What type of identification do I need in order to vote?
Listed below are acceptable forms of identification for voters:
- Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas Personal Identification Card issued by DPS
- Texas Handgun License issued by DPS
- United States Military Identification Card containing the person’s photograph
- United States Citizenship Certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States Passport (book or card)
Registered voters that live within the Dickinson, Hitchcock, Santa Fe and Texas City (including La Marque) school districts are eligible to vote on the proposal because they are within the COM taxing district.
The general election will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021. For voter registration information, polling dates and locations, visit www.galvestonvotes.org.