Commissioners Reduce Johnston County Schools, JCC Bond Referendum Requests

JCC, JCS Referendums Will Be Placed On November Ballot

Johnston County Commissioners agreed Monday to place two bond referendums before voters in November, but not the full amount originally requested by both organizations.

Johnston County Public Schools had requested a $133.4 million bond be placed before voters at the polls.  Instead, commissioners authorized a $61 million bond to pay for new school construction.

Johnston Community College President Dr. David Johnson had requested a $25 million bond to pay for a 71,000 square foot building for Early College and JCC engineering students. That is equal to the size of a 2-A high school. Commissioners authorized a $15 million bond for JCC.

Combined the $61 million Johnston County Schools and $15 million Johnston Community College bond requests equal $76 million in new bond debt for the county.

As of February 1, 2018, the County of Johnston had $272,773,862 in general fund debts. The majority, 92 percent, or $249,753,069 is debt for prior school bonds. The remaining 8 percent covers the combined debt for previous JCC bonds, the Agricultural Center, and other projects. It does not include water and sewer projects.

If approved by voters in November, commissioners say they can afford the additional $76 million in bond debts without increasing the 78 cents property tax rate.  Of the 78 cents tax rate, 36 cents is for Johnston County Schools. Of that amount, 23 cents is going towards the operating expenses of Johnston County public schools this year. The remaining 13 cents is going towards payment on the $249,753,069 debt for previously built public schools.  Many of the loans for the new school buildings were finance for 18-20 years.