"We estimate had you sold regular tax exempt bonds your interest cost would have been $9.7 million over the life of the bonds," said Bryce W. Holcomb Jr., director of the public finance department of Citigroup in Atlanta.
The school system also could receive $125,000 in rebates over three years from the United States Treasury. Newton County will receive rebates as long as the system's interest cost is lower than the federal tax credit rate.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, "The Qualified School Construction Bond program provides $11 billion face value in tax-free bonds in both fiscal years 2009 and 2010 to help fund school construction, rehabilitation, repair and land acquisition. It is estimated that the federally-funded bonds will save schools nearly $10 billion in taxes over the next 10 years."
Unless Congress votes to continue the program, it is scheduled to end this year.
Funds are scheduled to be wired on Nov. 18. However, these bonds can be used only on certain things, which include construction, rehabilitation or repair of a public school facility and/or acquisition of land for a school.
The system will use the funds to finance the new career academy for $13.5 million and a new elementary school for $12 million.