The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.


Election Comparison: Amarillo College Bond

On May 4th, voters will decide the first bond issue for the Amarillo Junior College District in over a decade. The item includes several key items from the school’s recently-developed master plan and carries a price tag of $89.2 million. Here is a look at what voters should know about the bond issue.

What the ballot says:

“The issuance of $89,206,000 of bonds by the Amarillo Junior College District for the construction, acquisition, renovation and equipment of school buildings for the district, the purchase of necessary sites therefore, and the levying of the tax for payment thereof”

What does this mean?

Amarillo College regents identified several key projects through a master plan developed by an outside consultant. The original plan included a price tag much higher than the proposed bond issue, but regents cut down the master plan into an $89 million package to renovate, repair, and replace select school facilities. If this item is approved, Amarillo College will take on $89 million in new debt, which will be paid off in the form of a property tax increase for residents of the college district.

What’s included in the bond?

Amarillo College has not released a specific list of what items are included in the May 4th bond. However, the original master plan which included all identified projects for the college district, some of which are not included in this plan, can be found here.

What will passage of this bond mean for my tax bill?

If Amarillo College voters choose to pass this bond, regents have said taxpayers could expect a tax increase of about 14 percent.

Is this the first Amarillo College bond?

No. The most recent Amarillo College bond was passed in 2007, which carried a price tag of about $68 million. That bond passed with around 64 percent of the vote, and included items for nursing programs and maintenance of the college. The 2019 bond will be the first such proposal under college president Russell Lowery-Hart’s tenure.

What happens if the bond fails?

The most obvious result of the bond failing would be the debt does not get issued through bonds and the projects included in the master plan would be placed on hold. There are other options for entities to either issue debt for various projects or budget for certain items, so the projects in the master plan would not necessarily be dead.

How can I vote on this issue?

Like with most bond issues, voters can either cast a vote for this item or against this item. In order for a conclusion to be drawn as to the result of the vote, one option has to receive 50 percent of the vote plus one vote to pass.

Photo by KFDA

Photo by KFDA

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AC to Observe Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day