Banking Money

MPUSD Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh says the new Measure P proposal would allow projects to get done faster.

The housing market has been on the upswing since the Great Recession. Last year, Monterey home values went up 8.3 percent. Next year, they are predicted to rise another 5.8 percent, according to Zillow, an online real estate database. In Seaside, homes went up 11.4 percent in the last year. Rising home values could be good news for the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.

In 2010, voters passed Measure P, a $110 million school improvement bond. At the time, MPUSD estimated homeowners would pay no more than $30 annually per $100,000 of their homes’ assessed value. Now the district is asking to change the bond limitations.

MPUSD Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh presented a new Measure P plan to the board on Sept. 13. The proposal includes a new tax rate of $39 annually per $100,000 in home value, refinancing at an interest rate of 2.79 percent, and selling off the remaining $53 million by 2018.

Diffenbaugh says it will save taxpayers $43 million over the life of the measure. “Refinancing would pay off the bond quicker and save taxpayers,” he says. “We project we will get $9 million more in projects done.”

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These projects include infrastructure repairs, facilities upgrades like a gym at Marina High School, and programmatic needs such as computers.

The district is holding public town hall meetings for feedback on the proposed changed throughout September. The board will vote as early as Oct. 4.

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